Home> Updates

Horgos border port sees rise in 'ferry drivers'

By ZHOU JIN| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: November 14, 2023

Driving a brand-new car transported from other parts of China, Liu Chunlei joined a queue for customs clearance at the Horgos border port in Northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region that connects to Kazakhstan, waiting to drive through a boundary bridge and hand over the car at designated areas in the Kazakh side.

Drivers like Liu in the border city are known as "ferry drivers". A local farmer, Liu, said he takes up the job during agricultural downtime to make more money.

The fee for ferrying a car varies from 500 yuan ($68.59) for automobiles to around 1,000 yuan for engineered vehicles, he said, adding that the job could increase his monthly income by 4,000 to 5,000 yuan.

Such transportation methods for vehicle exports is convenient, reducing operation costs for customs clearance as well as shortening the overall transportation time, said Hu Laijie, a senior official of the Horgos Port Administration.

"Ferry drivers" are a convenient transportation method opposed to car carrier trucks and railway containers, he added.

Local statistics showed that as of November 3, the export of vehicles through the Horgos highway port has exceeded 100,000, with a year-on-year growth of 177.3 percent.

Horgos is the largest land port for China's vehicle exports, Hu said, adding that the growth shows rising demand for Chinese automobiles from European and Central Asian market.

The vehicles exported from Horgos highway port cover 35 domestic automobile brands, and more than 80 companies are engaged in the export agent business, Hu said.

Gu Haifeng, manager of a logistic company in Horgos, said that customers from Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus like buying Chinese cars, several new energy vehicle brands, including Li Auto, Geely and Zeekr, are selling well in those markets.

Since April, Gu's company has transported over 2,000 vehicles to European and Central Asian markets.

Within two hours, car carrier trucks loaded with made-in-China vehicles could finish clearance procedures at the Horgos port, he said.

He said that he expects China's vehicle export business will be more centralized and standardized with further improvement of clearance efficiency.