A China-Europe freight train with 45 compartments of anti-epidemic supplies leaves the Xinzhu Railway Station in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Aug 12, 2020, to head for Italy’s Milan. (Photo/Xinhua)
As of November 5, the number of China-Europe freight trains hit a record high of 10,180, according to data from the China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., shipping 927,000 twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo, up 54 percent year-on-year.
The railway service has played an important role in maintaining smooth logistics and stable supplies between China, Europe and Belt and Road countries amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nearly 8 million pieces of medical supplies totaling more than 60,000 tons have been transported via China-Europe freight trains since the beginning of this year.
By November 5, China-Europe freight trains have reached 92 cities and 21 countries in Europe.
“The smooth operation of the China-Europe railway express has demonstrated notable advantages,” said Xavier Wanderpepen, who is responsible for China-Europe rail freight activities at Forwardis, France.
“Stable international trade and logistics are very important for us to cope with the pandemic,” said Carlos Santana, who is responsible for the company which operates the Yiwu-Madrid line in Spain.
The Yiwu-Madrid line has transported batches of materials such as masks and protective clothing to Spain, which has helped the country better respond to the disease, he added.
Compared with sea and air transport, China-Europe railway express enjoys greater market potential, said an executive of Danish shipping and logistics giant Maersk.
The company expanded its business to Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries through combining China-Europe freight train services with road and sea-rail transport.
In October, an inbound China-Europe freight train from Bremerhaven Port in Germany arrived in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, with 82 finished automobiles manufactured by the German automaker Audi.
Compared to maritime transport, the journey took nearly half the time, said the sales manager of a German logistics company.