Sunday, June 14, 2015


China flags off new cargo train to Europe



China flags off new cargo train to Europe
The journey will take 15 days as the train passes through Russia and Poland before reaching its destination, according to Tu Xiaoyue. (Photo Courtesy: China Xinhua News)

NEW DELHI: A new freight train linking Harbin city in northeastern China to Germany's Hamburg was launched on Saturday. The train, which will open a new trade route between China and Europe will run a distance of 9,820 Kms.

The journey will take 15 days as the train passes through Russia and Poland before reaching its destination, according to Tu Xiaoyue, general manager of HAO Logistics Co., Ltd, a joint venture which runs the service. It will run once a week.

The first train in the new route took off from Harbin, provincial capital of Heilongjiang, at 10 am on Saturday. It carried carrying 49 of China made goods such as electronic products and auto parts from northeast and north China, worth $3 million. It will transport goods from China, the Republic of Korea and Japan as well as European countries such as Germany, Poland, France, Spain and Italy, Tu said.

Six other Chinese cities, including Chongqing, Chengdu, Changsha, Hefei, Yiwu and Suzhou, already have freight trains connecting different parts of Europe.

Critics say much of the rail infrastructure being built to connect Europe by land has remained idle for want of demand for goods in both Europe and in China. Beijing is keen on developing the land routes as an insurance in case of disturbances on sea routes in future.

Talking about the train between Chongqing and Europe, Jorg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce, recently said that it was being mostly used to move Chinese goods as China buys very little from Europe.

"For every five train loads that go from China to Europe, only one comes back. The rest of the containers return from Europe by sea. If China allowed market access to European goods, five trains would go and five would return with goods from Europe," he said at a recent press conference.

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