At around 11 pm on Wednesday, a cargo train laden with “Made-in-Anhui” products like solar PV panels, LCD panels, laptops, machines and textiles was leaving Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui province, for Hamburg, Germany.
There was a train service from Hefei to Hamburg each day between March 7 to March 10, marking the first time the trip had been made for the fourth time in a row.
Aboard the trains were 340-TEU new products from local enterprises specializing in the province’s leading industries and strategic emerging industries.
The trains left the country from the Ala Mountains Pass in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and headed toward Hamburg as well as some Middle Asian countries without any distribution of goods on the way. The whole journey takes 15 days.
The municipal government launched the first freight train service to the German city in 2015, in cooperation with Shanghai Civil Engineering Co. of China Railway Group Ltd.
Now operated regularly, basically on a weekly basis, the service allows transport cost 20 percent lower than cargo flights and time cost 25 percent lower than freight vessels.
The train service has given a boost to trade between the eastern Chinese province and Middle Asia and Europe over the past two years. It has also helped Anhui participate in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
In 2017 alone, 19 train trips were made from Hefei to Middle Asian destinations, and 48 ones to Europe.
The city aims to double the Europe-bound train trips this year.