A little over two weeks, and 12,000km, after leaving Yiwu in eastern China, the first China-UK rail cargo service has arrived at its destination, Barking’s Eurohub freight terminal in London.
The service has been operated by transport operator Inter-Rail Group, and DB Cargo was responsible for the last leg of the journey, from Duisburg to London.
According to Yiwu Timex Industrial Investments, which is running the service with China’s state-run railways, the prices for the service are half that of air cargo, and more environmentally friendly, and travel by rail reduces transport time by two weeks, compared with shipping.
— Getlink (@GetlinkGroup) January 17, 2017
The silk road trading road is not yet reborn, though, since this journey is just a test trip run as part of China President Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) trade policy.
The People’s Republic of China’s Government is promoting rail cargo is being promoted as a means to reduce air pollution, moving away from the more polluting air transport.
Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s comments earlier in the week on the UK’s path towards Brexit and her intentions to strengthen trade with India and China, the China-UK route could prove to be a useful tool.
Image via DB Cargo.