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Xinhua Silk Road
Silk Road Economic Belt FAQ

About China-Europe Freight Train Service

January 22, 2020


Abstract : ​China-Europe freight trains refer to the fast freight trains for shipping containers from China to Europe,which is a highlight of the Belt and Road Initiative of China.

China-Europe freight trains refer to the fast freight trains for shipping containers from China to Europe, which is a highlight of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China.

More than 3000 trains have been operated since the project of China-Europe freight trains was started in March 2011. China-Europe freight trains become the key channel of road transport of the international logistics.

So far, there are 51 train routes of China-Europe freight trains operated by 27 cities in China, arriving in 28 cities of 11 countries in Europe.

China-Europe freight trains have realized the road connection between China and Europe, promoting the construction of Belt and Road Initiative in terms of transport capacity.

-- China-Europe freight trains see 6,300 trips in 2018

China-Europe freight trains made 6,300 trips in 2018, up 72 percent year on year, including 2,690 return trips, an increase of 111 percent. A total of about 12,000 trips have been made by the freight trains to date, realizing two years ahead of schedule the objective of "5,000 trips each year" proposed in the development plan of China-Europe freight trains (2016-2020).

In 2018, China-Europe freight trains further expanded presence to another 13 domestic cities and reached out to another eight cities in two European countries. China-Europe train lines ran in 56 cities in China, linking 49 cities in 15 European countries in 2018. The ratio of the number of inbound trips to that of outbound ones is 71 percent, close to the targeted "three in four" return rate. In addition, indicators including the laden rate, schedule reliability have also delivered the best performance.

Among the 56 domestic cities, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, and Wuhan are top five performers in 2018, dispatching 1,587, 1,442, 1,235, 752, and 423 trains respectively, and accounted for more than 80 percent in total.

Railway authorities have also adopted measures to enhance the performance of train trips, such as re-marshaling three trains into two trains on wide-gauge tracks outside China and offering preferential freight rates.

A new working diagram for trains running across China took effect at midnight of January 5, 2019. According to the diagram, the number of departure trains of China-Europe freight trains will be increased to 68 from 65.

-- Operation of major railways

· Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe freight train

Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe freight train travels mainly between Chongqing and Duisburg, Germany, with an average running time of 13-15 days. Its outbound trains reach to 30-odd European countries, such as Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Italy, and inbound trains can transfer to other parts of China and Southeast Asia region via Chongqing.

As of December 10, 2018, Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe freight trains have made more than 1,000 trips, serving as an important channel for Chongqing and even the whole western China to the outside world.

· Chengdu-Europe freight train

Starting from Chengdu International Railway Port in Qingbaijiang, Chengdu and leaving China through Alataw Pass port, the Chengdu-Europe Express reaches Lodz in Poland after passing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and other countries with a total track length of 9,826 kilometers and running time of 11 days.

Chengdu Europe freight railway has linked Chengdu with 24 foreign cities. The train service from Chengdu has also covered 14 coastal and border cities in the domestic market.

Chengdu now serves as a hub of seven international railways and five international sea-rail transport channels, making it possible to build a new Eurasian Land Bridge linking the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Chengdu-Europe freight trains made 1,587 trips in 2018, ranking first in China in the number of dispatched trains for three consecutive years.

· Zhengzhou-Europe freight train

Zhengzhou-Europe freight train helped establish a Zhengzhou-centric trade triangle extending to Europe, Central Asia, Japan, ROK and Southeast Asia.

With a length of 2,000 kilometers, Zhengzhou-Europe freight railway covers three-quarters of the country's provinces and reaches to the Asian-Pacific region after transit, including Japan and ROK. It takes Hamburg as a hub outside China and covers 126 cities of 24 countries in the EU, Russia and Central Asia.

In 2018, Zhengzhou-Europe freight train transported a total freight of 346,800 tons worth over 3.23 billion U.S. dollars, receiving a new record high. Zhengzhou has built convenient channels and ports to overseas regions due to high-frequency freight trains and international land ports.

· Wuhan-Europe freight train

Wuhan-Europe freight train refers to China-Europe freight trains from Wuhan to Hamburg in Germany, Duisburg, Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic opened in October, 2012. By the end of November 2018, the Wuhan-Europe freight railway has transported 100,000 TEUs in 1,200 trains, including 574 outbound trains and 626 inbound trains, linking nearly 50 countries and regions in Eurasia.

· Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe freight train

As an important channel of eastbound China-Europe freight trains, Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe freight train has a total haul distance of 11,200 kilometers and leaves customs through Manzhouli port. It mainly travels in Russia with Poland as the destination. Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe freight train features heavy load, short time and less transmit times. The freight train mainly exports goods made in Suzhou and neighboring cities and provinces.

Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe freight train has transported 820 million U.S. dollars worth of goods from January to October, 2018 in 116 trains.

Since its first trip started on September 30, 2013, the Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe freight train has transported more than 40,000 TEUs worth over 4 billion U.S. dollars in total.

· Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe freight train

It departs from Yiwu of Zhejiang province, leaves China via Alataw Pass of Xinjiang, passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France, and finally arrives in Madrid. With a total operating length of about 13,000 kilometers and operating time of 15-16 days, it has become one of the most important logistics channels connecting European countries for the Yangtze River Delta region.

Since its first trip started between China's Yiwu and Spain's Madrid on November 18, 2014, the Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe freight train has run for a total of 532 round trips, transporting 45,372TEUs as of October 20, 2018.

Yiwu, as a county-level city, provides inadequate financial subsidies to the China-Europe freight trains. Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe freight train has made full use of its geographical advantage of backing Yiwu's global commodity center and Yangtze River Delta's supply destination, to realize normal run of round-trip trains, thus accumulating experience for the gradual market-oriented operation of China-Europe freight trains.

· Chang'an China-Europe freight train

The express operates an international freight train route from Xi'an International Trade & Logistics Park to Central Asia and Central Europe. Since its launch in late 2013, goods from 29 provinces such as Gansu, Ningxia and Zhejiang have been distributed in Xi'an Port, and the trading countries have expanded to 44 countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

In 2018, the Chang'an China-Europe freight train made a total of 1,235 trips, of which 640 trips were made to and from the Central Europe (227 outbound trips and 413 inbound trips) and 595 trips were made to and from the Central Asia (518 outbound trips and 77 inbound trips); while the laden rate, freight volume and number of loaded trains all ranked first in China.

The value of goods shipped by the Chang'an International Freight Train supervised by Xi'an Customs District worth 1.72 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, 8.7 times that of the previous year.


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