A ship carrying a locomotive made by CSR Corporation, one of China's largest train makers, recently set off from Sichuan's Yangtze River port Yibin directly to Pakistan. This is the first time that such oversized and overweight cargo shipped abroad directly from Yibin, Xinhua reports.
Yibin is one of the major ports on the Yangtze River where Jinsha river, Minjiang and Yangtze join. Cargo vessels of 1,000 tonnes can sail between the port and the sea year round.
On January 17, the day the vessel with the locomotive departed on the third anniversary of Yibin port. The port handled no containers in 2011, but in 2013, its box volume was up to 60,000 TEU.
CSR Ziyang branch chairman Luo Yanming said locomotives used to have to be shipped on river to Shanghai or Tianjin to clear customs before they can be shipped abroad.
Today, they can go through customs clearance procedures at the port of Yibin's customs before their products can be shipped overseas, which greatly reduces cost.
Yibin port not only provides a more convenient means of transport for heavy machinery in western China, but also help to reduce logistics cost and enhance competitive strength for the "made-in-Sichuan" products.
Historically, Sichuan is where chemicals, steel, heavy machinery and automakers concentrate, but shipping costs of oversized cargo have been high. Choosing a cheaper water route can save CNY700 (US$115.7) per tonne, and it saved shippers CNY7 million last year.
Meanwhile, a bonded logistics centre is being built at Yibin. And a terminal for overweight cargo of more than 1,000 tonnes will be completed by June, which will further enhance the port's capacity.
Yibin Mayor Xu Jin said the port aims to become the fourth largest shipping hub on the Yangtze River.