Imported goods from China arrive in KyirongAfter a week-long journey, Nepali goods dispatched on China’s freight train from Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province in Northwest China, arrived in Kyirong on Tuesday night.
After a week-long journey, Nepali goods dispatched on China’s freight train from Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province in Northwest China, arrived in Kyirong on Tuesday night.
More than a dozen traders had ordered the goods, including readymade garment, electronic appliances and kitchenware, through the route.
The train travelled 2,431km from Lanzhou to Shigatse carrying 20 tonnes of goods each in 50 wagons on its maiden journey. From there, the goods were transported to Kyirong—160 km north to Kathmandu —by cargo trucks.
The traders said the transportation distance on the Lanzhou-Shigatse-Kyirong route has been cut down to 10 days from usual 45 days on the sea route—China-Kolkata port to Kathmandu. Transporting goods through the Lanzhou-Shigatse-Kyirong using cargo trucks takes some 21 days.
Kumar Karki, president of Nepal Trade Association, said shipping goods in railway through the northern
border has significantly reduced the time.
“The shipping cost has also been reduced to some extent. If the goods are transported to Kyirong directly through railway, the cost will go down sharply,” he said.
The Chinese railway service is extended only up to Shigatse. The distance between Shigatse and Kyirong, from where goods have to be ferried in cargo trucks, is 564km. “As loading and unloading goods in Shigatse and Kyirong need to be done multiple times, the cost has not dropped, but the travel distance has been reduced by one-fourth,” said Karki.
He said it costs Rs34 per kg while transporting goods by cargo trucks on the route, and the cost is almost the same if the gods are transported through railway.
Traders normally use two routes—China-Kolkata-Kathmandu sea route and Lanzhou-Shigatse-Kyirong—for importing goods from China. However, most of them prefer to use the sea route due to low shipping costs.
Karki said the transportation cost on the China-Kolkata-Kathmandu route is Rs350,000 per container, while the cost is almost double on the Lanzhou-Shigatse-Kyirong route.
He said they have to hire truck drivers from Rasuwagadhi to transport goods from Kuyirong.
“As the Chinese authority in Kyirong does not allow other than locals of Rasuwagadhi to cross the border, we have to hire drivers from there,” said Karki. “Due to the reason, importers could not travel to Kyirong to check their imported goods.”
Karki said the government should hold bilateral talks with China to allow other truck drivers to travel to Kyirong.