China-Europe freight train bucks the trend


International Business News  –  On July 11, the pick-up ceremony of the 10,000th heavy box train of China’s first China-Europe freight train (Chongqing) was held at the DIT station in Duisburg, Germany.

On June 30, as two China-Europe freight trains (Chengdu-Chongqing) departed from Chengdu International Railway Port and Chongqing Tuanjie Village Central Station, respectively bound for Lodz, Poland and Duisburg, Germany, the total number of China-Europe freight trains between Chengdu and Chongqing has been accumulated the number of lines opened exceeded 20,000.

A new breakthrough has been made in the opening of the China-Europe freight train! On July 11, a China-Europe freight train (Chongqing) loaded with electronic products, mechanical parts, daily necessities and other goods arrived in Germany, marking China’s first China-Europe freight train line with more than 10,000 trains, and this line has become the first China-Europe freight train line with a total of more than 10,000 heavy boxes.

Since the beginning of this year, the China Railway Express has bucked the trend and has accelerated. From January to June, China-Europe trains operated 7,473 trains in total and sent 720,000 TEUs. The number of trains in a single month has remained above 1,000 for 26 consecutive months. In the context of the spread of the new crown pneumonia epidemic and the turbulent international situation, the China Railway Express has overcome the headwinds of poor global circulation and insufficient transportation capacity, supporting the global industrial chain supply chain with stable, reliable and efficient logistics services, in order to stabilize global trade and promote the world positive contribution to economic recovery.

The number of lines opened increased and the scope continued to expand

On the morning of July 7, accompanied by a flute, the China-Europe train (Changjiang) slowly drove out of the platform carrying steel and other goods, from Huangshi, Hubei to Duisburg, Germany, the first “Yellowstone-Duisburg” Central Europe  train was dispatched smoothly, and Huangshi built a new land channel for economic and trade exchanges with Europe, which can stably transport nearly 200,000 tons of goods every year.

“Our company’s 500 tons of special steel took this ride. Compared with the previous shipping, this time it can save nearly a month, and the product delivery efficiency will be greatly improved.” Li Jie, Minister of Foreign Trade Department of Daye Special Steel Co., Ltd, tell reporters that Europe is Daye Special Steel’s largest export market. For the company, the opening of this China-Europe train line can not only shorten the transportation time, but also reduce the number of steel transfers in the process, reduce the transportation cost and the risk of cargo damage, and further enhance the company’s product competitiveness.

Since the beginning of this year, China’s import and export of goods trade has grown steadily. The growth rate of foreign trade continued to pick up in May and June, of which the growth rate in June reached 14.3%. In this context, the import and export freight demand of foreign trade enterprises has increased significantly, and new routes of China-Europe freight trains have been opened in many places.

In Shenyang, Liaoning Province, the China-Europe freight train Shenyang-Frankfurt, Germany line opened for the first time a few days ago; in Nanning, Guangxi, the first “China-Kazakhstan-Ukraine” China-Europe freight train was fully loaded with anode carbon blocks, white sugar, uninterruptible power supplies and other goods to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and other countries; in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, a China-Europe freight train carrying photovoltaic modules worth 4.3 million US dollars departed from Ganzhou International Land Port. This is the first China-Europe freight train opened in Jiangxi to Romania… Up to now, China train has reached more than 180 cities in more than 20 countries in Europe, forming a logistics network that runs through Asia and Europe.

While new lines are frequently unveiled, the lines that have been opened continue to exert their strength.

On the evening of July 10, at Hefei North Railway Station, Anhui Province, a China-Europe freight train set off and will leave the country via Erenhot Port. This train carries a total of 100 TEUs with a value of about 15 million yuan. The main cargo is cars and related spare parts.

“The number of Hefei China-Europe trains has maintained steady growth, and has now achieved point-to-point direct access to 17 countries and 81 international stations.” Chen Feng, deputy general manager of Hefei International Inland Port Development Co., Ltd, told reporters that in the first half of this year, Hefei China-Europe trains atotal of 449 trains have been shipped, and 36,772 TEUs of containers have been shipped, with a value of 9.6 billion yuan, an increase of 76.8%, 76.7%, and 74.4% year-on-year respectively.

The steady growth of the Hefei China-Europe freight train is a microcosm. Recently, many places have released the information on the opening of China-Europe freight trains in the first half of the year, and the performance is outstanding: From January to June, Guangzhou Customs supervised a total of 133 China-Europe freight trains with a value of about 3.04 billion yuan, an increase of 95% and 48% year-on-year respectively; Tianjin Port a total of 400 China-Europe trains were shipped, carrying 43,200 TEUs of goods, a year-on-year increase of more than 75%; 2,215 China-Europe trains entered and exited through Manzhouli Port, the eastern channel of the China-Europe train, a year-on-year increase of 34.2%, and transported 181,200 TEUs, an increase of 39.9%.

After years of development, the China-Europe freight train has formed a good trend of normalized operation and large-scale operation. The data shows that from 2016 to 2021, the number of China-Europe freight trains will increase from 1,702 to 15,183, with an average annual growth rate of 55%; the annual transport value will increase from US$8 billion to US$74.9 billion. The relevant person in charge of the China Railway Group said that in recent years, the China Railway Group has given full play to the advantages of China-Europe trains, such as fast transportation, high cost performance, safety and reliability, and environmental protection, and has continuously expanded the number and scope of China-Europe trains, and the brand effect of China-Europe trains. It has become increasingly apparent, and it will continue to provide new momentum for the construction of the “Belt and Road”.

The comprehensive heavy container rate of the return trip has stabilized at a high level

The development of China Railway Express is not only reflected in the increase in quantity, but also in the leap in quality

The Empty Box Problem “Gone Forever”

The first China-Europe freight train line has broken 10,000 trains, and a key word has attracted attention — heavy container folding. Peng Qian, director of railway logistics department of Port Logistics Office of Chongqing Government, said that heavy container folding, namely 41 40-foot heavy boxes loaded with goods are converted into 1 conversion column, is an important indicator of the high-quality development level of China-Europe freight trains announced by China Railway Group. “In terms of the goods transported, the China-Europe Express (Chongqing) has expanded from a single IT product to more than 1,000 kinds of goods, including intelligent terminals, vehicles and parts, high-end medical drugs and equipment, postal parcels, light industrial products and bulk goods, with a transport value of over 400 billion yuan.”

The data shows that the comprehensive heavy container rate of China-Europe freight trains has increased from 77.2% in 2016 to 98.1% in 2021. Since the beginning of this year, the comprehensive heavy container rate of the return journey has continued to stabilize at a high level, remaining at a relatively high level of about 98%; IT products such as mobile phones and notebook computers have been expanded to more than 50,000 kinds of auto parts and vehicles, chemicals, electromechanical, grain, wine, and wood.

Continue to improve the balance of the return trip

On July 13, data released by Qingdao Customs showed that in the first half of this year, a total of 430 China-Europe trains arrived and dispatched from the multimodal transport center of the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone, a year-on-year increase of 44.8%. Xu Yuejing, deputy director of Jiaozhou Customs, a subsidiary of Qingdao Customs, said that from January to June, the number of outbound trains from the Shanghai Cooperation Demonstration Zone’s multimodal transport center reached 18,000 TEUs, mainly for machinery and equipment, home building materials, chemicals and tires products; the number of return trains reached 213, setting a new high, and the cargo of the return train reached 17,000 TEUs, mainly resource products such as wood, pulp, minerals and soybeans.

In 2021, the return trip ratio of China-Europe trains will reach 81.5%, a year-on-year increase of 3.8 percentage points and an increase of over 30 percentage points from 2016. Since the beginning of this year, the number of banks opened between key hubs has basically achieved a two-way balance.

The operation guarantee mechanism has been continuously improved

Recently, a China-Europe train loaded with goods from the Yangtze River Delta region, such as small household appliances, light textiles and clothing, departed from the Jiangsu Suzhou Railway Logistics Center, thus realizing the first time that the Suzhou China-Europe train left the country through the “railway express” mode. This is a convenience measure launched by the General Administration of Customs to promote the development of China-Europe freight trains. Under this mode, the data of customs, railways, and operating enterprises can be exchanged, and the customs will review, release, and write off the electronic data of railway manifests, without the need for operating enterprises to declare separately and go through customs transfer procedures. Zhang Qilin, general manager of Suzhou Youjitong International Logistics Co., Ltd, said that using the “railway express” mode of customs clearance can save 24 hours of customs clearance time, shorten the overall running time by 1-2 days, and save more than 200 yuan per box.

“Next, we will focus on improving the quality and efficiency of China-Europe trains. We will continue to optimize the transportation organization, vigorously expand the supply of goods for the return journey, and promote the intensive and efficient use of transportation resources. We will continue to optimize the customs clearance process and shorten the customs clearance time.” The relevant person in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission said, in the future, it will actively explore “transportation and trade integration” and directly cooperate with manufacturers and traders in countries along the “Belt and Road” to further enhance added value and profitability.

Recognized by countries and regions along the route

The stable development of China-Europe freight trains and the continuous expansion of the “circle of friends” have brought new opportunities for development to more and more countries and regions along the route.

In Germany, the general manager of the Frankfurt-Hoechst Industrial Park, Kavus Kedzade, was delighted with the arrival of the China Railway Express (Shenyang). Kedezard said that the goods transported by this train are mainly auto parts, and after unloading, they will be diverted to an area within 100 kilometers of Frankfurt as the center. “The Shenyang-Frankfurt line of the China-Europe freight train opened for the first time this year, creating huge development opportunities for the local area. Frankfurt has a significant geographical advantage and is an important financial and transportation center in Germany and even in Europe. This line will help increase the vitality of the Frankfurt logistics park and expand Europe market and enrich trade channels,” said Kedecard.

Kedecard believes that the China-Europe freight train is crucial to world trade and can drive the economic development of countries and regions along the route. Given the regional turmoil caused by the current Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the tight booking of ships to and from the Far East, and the high price of shipping services, the China-Europe freight train will be an alternative while ensuring the safety of the route.

In Hungary, the border town of Zahoni is changing with the arrival of the China Railway Express. Jomos Norbert, general manager of Hungary’s MAV-REC Railway Engineering Co., Ltd, said that in July 2017, the first container train from China arrived in Zahoni. Only 50 container transshipments were handled that year, but by 2021 that number rises to 7,000.

The development of logistics has created more opportunities for Zahoni. Joe Mosh Norbert personally introduced that in order to better meet the logistics needs of enterprises from all over the world, MAV-REC Company, Zahoni Port Company and China-Europe Business and Logistics Cooperation Park formed a consortium to jointly promote the “China-Europe Logistics Industry” in Zahoni Garden” project construction. “The economic and trade development between China and Europe has made Zahoni an important node in the China-Europe supply chain. The China-Europe train has obviously driven the local economy. Now logistics companies and operators are paying more attention to Zahoni than before, and more and more Chinese companies are considering it. Invest in Hungary and establish a European base here,” said Jomos Norbert.

In the face of frequent rebounds of the epidemic, the China-Europe Railway Express has maintained safe and stable operation, and has continuously delivered epidemic prevention materials produced in China to European countries. In 2021, the China-Europe freight train will transport 4.23 million pieces and 29,000 tons of anti-epidemic materials. As of the end of April this year, a total of 14.1 million pieces of anti-epidemic materials, totaling 108,000 tons, have been sent, building a “bridge of life” between China and Europe. On the eve of Christmas last year, when people in European and American countries were worried that they would not be able to receive Christmas gifts in time due to the obstruction of shipping, the China-Europe freight train transported Christmas supplies from Yiwu, China and other places to Europe. When  French furniture makers worry about rising freight rates, limited space and blocked channels, the China-Europe freight train quickly transported furniture products from Lyon and other places to the Chinese market, becoming the “savior” praised by enterprises…

“After years of development, recent epidemics and the ‘big test’ of the turbulent international situation, the market value, economic significance and important role of the China Railway Express have been generally recognized by the countries and regions along the route, and it is becoming an international trade jointly constructed and maintained by the countries and regions along the route great channel.” Li Dawei, director of the Emerging Economies Research Office of the Institute of International Economics, China Academy of Macroeconomics, believes that as an important support for stabilizing the international supply chain, the China-Europe freight train has become an indispensable part of the international trade and transportation system, and will surely continue to play an important role.

Describe the China-Europe freight train

● From January to June this year, a total of 7,473 trains were operated by China-Europe trains, and 720,000 TEUs were dispatched, and the number of trains in a single month was more than 1,000 for 26 consecutive months.

● Up to now, the China Railway Express has reached over 180 cities in more than 20 European countries, forming a logistics network connecting Asia and Europe.

● From 2016 to 2021, the annual number of China-Europe freight trains will increase from 1,702 to 15,183, with an average annual growth rate of 55%; the annual transport value will increase from US$8 billion to US$74.9 billion.

●In 2021, the return trip ratio of China-Europe trains will reach 81.5%, a year-on-year increase of 3.8 percentage points and an increase of over 30 percentage points from 2016. Since the beginning of this year, the number of banks opened between key hubs has basically achieved a two-way balance.

● The category of transported goods has expanded from the initial IT products such as mobile phones and notebook computers to more than 50,000 kinds of auto parts and vehicles, chemicals, electromechanical, grain, alcohol, and wood.

● The comprehensive heavy container rate of China-Europe freight trains has increased from 77.2% in 2016 to 98.1% in 2021. Since the beginning of this year, the comprehensive heavy container rate of the return journey has continued to stabilize at a high level, remaining at a relatively high level of around 98%.


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