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Thursday, April 21, 2016

China meeting endorses UPU’s rail-post initiative

12.04.2016 - The Chongqing Declaration supports the shipping of postal items by the Sino-Europe rail link.

Li Guohua, president of the China Post Group (left), with UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein

Rail transport could soon become a UPU-approved mode of transmission for postal items, thanks to support for a proposal by key world players. An international postal forum held today in Chongqing, China, passed a declaration supporting a proposal for cross-border e-commerce service via rail transport. 

The meeting - which was attended by representatives of postal, logistics and e-commerce organizations from 25 countries in Asia-Pacific and Europe - declared support for the strengthening of cooperation among Posts, Customs and different carriers to promote regional and international trade. 

In particular, participants at the one-day forum endorsed the Sino-Europe rail transport system, which is set to start transmission of postal mail and other goods to promote e-commerce within the regions. 

“We shall take the initiative to explore the possibility of multi-channel business cooperation through the Sino-Europe railway by cargo and passenger trains,” stated the Chongqing Declaration. 

Participants also resolved to coordinate with Customs to promote the standardization of shipping documents, and they committed to coordinate with Posts in countries on the trans-European route “to accelerate mail transportation and meet customers’ varied expectations.” 

Plans are already underway to launch a test shipment of postal items from China to Germany through the Trans-Eurasia Railway. If the initiative is successful, the UPU will help facilitate universal access for rail and develop appropriate standards and regulations to govern the new transport system. 

This mode of transport is expected to further boost world e-commerce, which is currently growing at an annual rate of about 20 per cent. Rail is seen as an important transport option to facilitate business in this area, being cheaper than air transport and faster than maritime options, making it more appropriate for non-priority, big volume mail. 

Already, the UPU has signed memoranda of understanding with key organizations that will play important roles in facilitating this mode of transport for cross-border trade. These organizations include the World Customs Organization, the International Rail Transport Committee and the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation. 

In the pilot Sino-Europe project, the UPU is also working with the Posts, Customs and railway organization of China, Russia and Germany, respectively. 

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein, who attended the forum, thanked participants for their declaration in support of the rail-post proposal. He said the UPU will remain the critical link to bring together all key players in this supply chain. 

He also said the UPU will be working on the harmonization of formalities, regulations and standards to simplify them and better support world trade through the rail-post project. 
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