International Business News – Data from China National Railway Group shows that in the past July, the China-Europe train, known as the “steel camel team”, made 1,517 trains and sent 149,000 TEUs of goods, an increase of 11% and 12% year-on-year respectively. Both figures hit record highs. At present, the century-old changes in the world are intertwined with the epidemic of the century, the international security situation is turbulent, and the world economic recovery is sluggish. The report card of the China-Europe freight train is not easy and exciting.
Quantitatively, in the context of the global economic contraction, the China-Europe freight train has grown steadily and has become the “artery” of international trade running through Eurasia. From January to July this year, a total of 8,990 China-Europe freight trains have been operated, and 869,000 TEUs of goods have been dispatched, an increase of 3% and 4% year-on-year respectively. In the first seven months, the average daily volume of China-Europe freight trains in the west, middle and east passages increased by 18.3%, 17.7% and 36.5% respectively compared with 2020 before the capacity expansion and reconstruction.
From the perspective of the situation, the unstable and uncertain factors in the world are increasing, but the China-Europe freight train has a strong momentum. It continues to add new stations and new routes to promote the formation of a network pattern of “smooth and efficient, multi-directional extension, and sea-land interconnection”. Going against the trend, there is even a hot scene of “hard to find a box”. Up to now, the China Railway Express has maintained the level of “one thousand trains per month” for 27 consecutive months.
In the nine years since the major initiative of jointly building the “Belt and Road” was put forward, the China-Europe trains have “connected the dots into a line” and “weave the thread into a network”, and the “circle of friends” has become larger and larger. At present, it has reached 200 cities in 24 European countries and has become a “line”. The important achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative have witnessed the vigorous vitality of the Belt and Road Initiative.
A series of continuous-running China-Europe trains have built a new bridge to connect the world. More than 2,000 years ago, the camel bell caravan crossed the vast desert and walked out of a Silk Road connecting the East and the West. Today, the China-Europe trains are full of goods traveling from east to west, and the ancient Silk Road “sounds the camel bell again”. Data shows that the price of a standard container on the China-Europe freight train is far lower than the average transportation cost on major shipping routes. According to Danish logistics company DSV, the time required to travel by rail from China to Europe is half that of sea freight, and the cost of transportation is 1/4 that of air freight. The China Railway Express has made an important contribution to the smooth flow of the international industrial chain and supply chain with convenient, fast, safe, stable and green economic cross-border logistics services.
A series of continuous-running China-Europe trains have built a new platform for openness and cooperation. As an important carrier for the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, China-Europe freight trains have continuously delivered epidemic prevention materials, mechanical parts, electronic products and other goods to their destinations, which not only deepened the economic and trade cooperation between China and the countries along the “Belt and Road”, but also boosted the regional economic recovery. The data shows that the ratio of the return train to the outbound train of the China-Europe train reached 88%, a year-on-year increase of 6%; the recent round-trip comprehensive heavy container rate has continued to remain above 98%. In addition to driving the development of import and export trade and related industries, the opening of the China Railway Express has also spawned many new logistics, industrial, commercial and trade centers and industrial parks, providing a large number of employment opportunities and real convenience for the people of the countries along the route. In the German inland port city of Duisburg, with the opening of the China-Europe freight train, there are about 50,000 people in the local area engaged in related businesses, accounting for 15% of the city’s labor force. The joint construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative originated from China, and the opportunities and achievements belong to the world.
The continuous series of China-Europe trains has achieved a story of people-to-people bonds. In Xi’an, China, the cross-border purchasing business of a young man from Shanxi, Yuan Chaohui, and a girl from Kazakhstan, together with the “Changan” of the China-Europe freight train, now has 6 overseas warehouses and more than 300 Chinese suppliers. Last year’s sales volume billions of dollars. In the cold wave of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, the China Railway Express has broken through the haze of the epidemic, bringing much-needed anti-epidemic materials to countries and regions along the route, and also bringing warmth and care from the East.
Policy communication, facility connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds are the essence of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. A professor from Germany organized college students from China, Kazakhstan, and Germany to jointly conduct an international survey called “A Journey to the New Silk Road”. After in-depth research on the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, he came to the conclusion: “It connects the Eurasian continent, opens up transportation and transportation, provides more job opportunities for people in the countries along the route, and helps some less developed countries develop better.”
The engine of China-Europe freight trains is constantly running day and night, and the cooperation of the “Belt and Road” keeps moving forward. In the future, the high-quality development of the “Belt and Road” will write more stories of mutual benefit and win-win results, and make new contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.