China-Europe freight train boosts European industrial growth
(Photo/Xinhua) With their growing cargo shipments and blossoming business opportunities, freight train routes between China and Europe are steadily boosting the industrial development of Europe. The cargo transportation service is currently set to provide a substantial dividend of “shared economy” for people living in the countries along its routes.
Departing from 28 locations in China and covering tens of thousands of kilometers, the freight trains travel to 29 cities in 11 European countries. So far, 51 routes have been opened. Over 1,700 trains passed from China to Europe in 2016, covering a total of 17 million kilometers, or 424 times the perimeter of the earth.
“The containers that have been shipped would stretch 900 kilometers if connected together, which is equal to the distance between Beijing and Nanjing,” said Dong Jianmin, deputy chairman of the Organization for Cooperation of Railways, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland. “It would only take 14 days to transport cargo from Lodz to Chengdu,” added the vice general manager of a Chinese factory in Lodz, Poland, adding that improved logistics have enhanced production efficiency, making his factory’s products more competitive. Erich Staake, president of the German enterprise Duisport Group, has said that China-Europe freight trains offer not only a trade route, but also connect different markets, transforming global industries and logistics.
Countries along the freight routes all hope to benefit from it, Staake added. There were just two to three China-Europe freight trains arriving at Duisport back in 2014, but now the number has increased to 20, accounting for 20 percent of the port’s total capacity. According to Shan Jing, business development manager of Far East Land Bridge Ltd., which is the operator of the freight routes, the trains have injected new power into Germany’s shrinking rail transportation industry.
The service has also promoted the logistics industry of Duisburg, and will boost the development of more regions and industries in the future. German railway company Deutsche Bahn shipped more than 40,000 containers via China-Europe freight trains in 2016, achieving 11.4 percent growth. The company plans to ship over 100,000 containers in 2020.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission, about 5,000 trains will run between China and Europe in 2020.
By then, China-Europe freight routes will connect not only China, Europe and other countries along the routes, but will also cover East Asia, Southeast Asia and other regions.