MILAN, July 2 (Class Editori) - The freight train on the China-Europe route has traveled 24 days to link a small distribution center located in the rich East province of Zhejang to Spain's capital, Madrid. The container transported a cargo of 86 TEU (the container unit of measurement amounting at 20 feet), which included 257 tons of health supplies, among which 25 million face masks and 400,000 protective coveralls; they have been transported on a route which is recording a very significant increase in freight traffic, by confirming the trend which shows a rail traffic resumption between China and Europe, compared to the maritime and air ones.
Chinese statistics have disclosed that in the first six months of the year, 274 freight trains have passed through the Yiwu-Madrid route, by transporting goods for a total amount of 24,446 TEU, with an increase by 117% compared to the first semester of 2019. It is a record number, also in comparison with the average European trend.
According to China State Railway Group, the number of China-Europe freight trains reached the new record of 1,033 in May, with an increase by 43% compared to the previous year. About 93,000 TEU of goods have been transported by trains, with a growth by 48% compared to the previous year. The number of departing trains has increased by 47% year-on-year, up to 556 of the last month, while the number of returning trains has grown by 39%, up to 447.
José Maria Chiquillo Barber, Spanish representative of the UNESCO Silkroad network, who is actively involved in facilitating East-West connections, has pointed out how the figure shows an important step forward in the exchanges between China and Spain.
Among other factors, those data sound like a challenge to Italian logistics, which, even though recording a significant increase in rail traffic with China, it is still under developed, by considering that the journey lasts 14 days, therefore it is much shorter than the Spain-China connection.
Recently, Rail Cargo Group, in collaboration with DBO Bahnoperator, has activated a train for the transport of 40 feet high cube container between Xi'an and Melzo (Milan) with a transit time of 14 days. Then, from Melzo, (Rail Hub Milano) different secondary links are available from and to Ravenna, Bari, Nola and other destinations connected with the Lombard intermodal hub of Contiship Italia.
The rail connections over the new Silk Roads are increasing also inside China. China State Railway Group has announced that a new route has been opened in order to link the Qinghai and Xianjiang regions, in the Northwest part of China. It is a 1,200 km railway, the Geermu-Kuerle Railway, designed in order to ensure a commercial speed of 1,200 km per hour, which allows to more than halve journey times between the two cities, in an area of Central China which is very interested in projects related to Silkroad, and therefore in commercial flows’ increase.
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