A freight train carrying 56 standard containers of goods left Ningbo-Zhoushan Port for Shaoxing City in east China on 18 December. This was the first official operation of a double-stack freight train service in China.
Costs can be reduced and carrying capacity increased by more than 30 percent compared with a single height container train, according to sources in the port.
According to China Railway Shanghai Group Co., Ltd. one 40-foot intermodal container can be stacked on top of two 20-foot containers in each car.
Through the sea and rail intermodal service, imported goods including mechanical and electrical products, chemicals and building materials can be transported from foreign countries to the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, the world’s busiest port, before reaching the city of Shaoxing.
On the return trip, the containers would carry textiles and other light industrial goods from Shaoxing to the port before being shipped to Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.
Constrained by infrastructure limitations, only a few countries including the United States, Canada and Australia are operating the double-stack freight trains, according to Zhejiang Seaport Group, the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port’s operator.