1,000th freight train leaves China for Europe

BEIJING (TCA) — A train loaded with clothing and small commodities departed from east China’s Zhejiang Province on May 13, heading for Madrid, Spain. Departing from the manufacturing city of Yiwu, it was the 1,000th freight train linking China and Europe this year, Xinhua reported.

From January 1 to May 13 this year, the number of Sino-European freight trains had increased by 612, or 158 percent, compared with the same period last year, according to China Railway Corp.

“Freight train services are safe, convenient and environmentally friendly,” Xinhua quoted Yang Xingqiang, general manager of supply chain operator Geodis (China) as saying.

Geodis is one of the service’s major clients. Yang told Xinhua that they have always conducted trade between China and Europe. “The train provides a new option in addition to shipping and air transport, cutting our logistics costs by 30 percent,” he said.

More cargo is being carried from China to Europe, from electronic devices and small commodities to automobile parts, furniture, machinery and textiles, while the trains return with products such as wine from Spain, milk from Poland, rose essential oil from Bulgaria and cars from Germany.

China currently has 51 Sino-European freight train routes, with trains from 28 Chinese cities travelling to 29 cities in 11 European countries, including 15 cities added just this year.

China has been expanding trade with Eurasian countries and Europe as part of its Belt and Road initiative. China’s rail routes to Europe run through Central Asian countries and Russia.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

View more articles fromTCA