China – Germany railway sees booming cargo service

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CARGO trains made a total of 449 journeys between Zhengzhou, a transport hub in central China’s Henan Province, and Hamburg, Germany between January and November this year.

According to the Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co., more than 234,000 tonnes of cargo worth 2.44 billion U.S. dollars were delivered during the period.

Since the first Zhengzhou-Germany cargo train began running in July 2013, the frequency has increased from once a month to eight round trips a week, underpinned by the Belt and Road Initiative.

Over the past four years, 472,500 tonnes of cargo worth 4.92 billion U.S. dollars have been transported via the route.

More than 1,300 kinds of goods, including garments, textiles, auto parts, medical equipment and electronics, have been carried by trains between Zhengzhou and Hamburg. The products are delivered to 121 cities in 24 countries in the European Union, Russia and Central Asia.

“The Zhengzhou-Germany cargo trains have flourished since the second half of last year. Customers even have to book at least 10 days in advance,” said Shi Yousong, vice general manager of the company.

“The transportation costs and delivery time of railways are between those for air and sea transportation, so light and high-value-added goods are the main types of cargo for the trains,” he said.

A number of Chinese cities have launched similar container freight trains to central Asia and Europe since 2011. The number of China-Europe freight trains reached a new high this year, surpassing the past six years combined, with more than 3,000 cargo trains traveling on 57 lines between the two continents, according to China Railway Corporation.

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