New hub for growing China-Europe rail cargo link

0
486
China-Europe rail cargo link
With 82 China-Europe routes, the trains now reach about 200 cities in 24 European countries, transporting more than 50,000 types of Chinese goods including IT products, cars and parts, clothes, grain, and timber, Xinhua reports. Photo screengrab from Xinhua
  • A new cargo consolidation hub for China-Europe freight trains opened on March 4 in Shenyang, Liaoning Province in northeast China
  • The hub’s inauguration was highlighted by a send-off for a train carrying 55 containers of Chinese products to Russia
  • A China Railway Express Hub Construction official says the project lays a solid foundation for a “road-rail-sea” multimodal international logistics hub

A new cargo consolidation hub for the fast-growing China-Europe rail cargo link was put into operation on March 4 in Shenyang, the capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, according to a Xinhua Global Link report.

A train carrying 55 containers left for Russia on Saturday morning for its inaugural journey from the China Railway Express (Shenyang) Hub, the report said.

The China-Europe rail cargo link hub covers a total land area of 92,000 square meters, including 80,000 square meters under customs supervision, Xinhua reported.

The hub is large enough for the storage of 3,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) at the same time, with the capacity of handling 1,000 China-Europe freight trains every year, said Li Haiping, deputy manager of the operation department of the China Railway Express (Shenyang) Hub Construction and Operation Co. Ltd.

The operation of the hub can further meet the needs of the development of China-Europe freight trains in Shenyang and lays a solid foundation to create a “road-rail-sea” multimodal international logistics hub, Li said.

He said that such a hub would link the logistics services in Shenyang with the sea ports of Yingkou and Dalian in Liaoning.

Xinhua has quoted a Spanish expert as saying that rail freight services between China and Europe are “in great health and growing fast” during the Covid pandemic as disrupted maritime trade during lockdowns provided an opportunity for rail cargo transport to grow.

“Rail freight transport between China and Spain has grown a great deal in a short space of time,” Xinhua quoted Daniel Albalate, an expert in transport economics at the University of Barcelona, as saying in an interview last August.

The number of China-Europe freight train trips in 2022 reached 10,000 on August 21 last year, 10 days earlier than the previous year, data from the China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. Showed, according to the state news agency.

These include the Laos-China Railway opened in December 2021 that has turned Vientiane into a hub that provides a rail trade link between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states to China and Europe.

With 82 China-Europe routes, the trains now reach about 200 cities in 24 European countries, transporting more than 50,000 types of Chinese goods including IT products, cars and parts, clothes, grain, and timber.

Albalate predicted that more branch lines of the train services will be laid and cargo volumes will increase, the report said.

Now a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative, the train services have grown into an exemplar of win-win cooperation and common prosperity, and brought tangible fruits to people along the routes.

“The increase in exchanges and trade is generally mutually beneficial for the side that imports and the side that exports, and the reason they do this voluntarily is that both sides see it as beneficial, and expanding markets and making trade more efficient improve the situation for both sides,” Xinhua quoted the professor as saying.