Authorities from China have announced a new train service to link the country with Europe, in order to improve freight transport between the two.
The new train service, set to run from China to the UK and vice versa, will be passing through a couple of important Asian and European cities. The train, operated by China’s Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co. is set to run once a week, at least during the trial period. The company is also responsible for a different route, with trains traveling all the way to Madrid (Spain) and passing through Duisburg (Germany). This service has been running for the past year and is now operating twice per week.
The new train service will be able to transport cargo from end to end in 18 days. During their travel time, the China-sent trains will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK. The entire route is close to 8.000 miles (12.874 km) long.
China recently sent its first train, part of the new service, at the beginning of the year. It left the Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang province on January 1st and reached London by January 18th. UK’s Capital city is the no. 15 European city to benefit from freight services between China and Europe.
This new service should be able to bring a new competitive agent in the logistics industry, to help the China-Europe trade routes. This option seems to be the best, as it costs 50% less to transport cargo on rail than using planes and it takes 50% less time than sea freight.
On the same note, the Manager of the London-based Onetwothree Logistics company, Oscar Lin, believes ‘this cargo train service highlights an important trade partnership between the UK and China post-Brexit’.
The train is also part of the Chinese project ‘One Belt, One Road’, envisioned by President Xi Jinping. By using this service, the President hopes to improve Chinese commercial relations with Asia, Europe and the Middle East.