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China/UK first train freight service: cuts by half the time of the sea link

Thursday, January 5th 2017 - 10:29 UTC
Full article 4 comments
The route will “revolutionize the way freight is moved from China” said Mike White, director of its U.K.-based arm, Brunel Shipping. The route will “revolutionize the way freight is moved from China” said Mike White, director of its U.K.-based arm, Brunel Shipping.

China launched its first freight service to the United Kingdom on New Year's day, according to the China Railway Corporation. The service runs from the Chinese city of Yiwu, in the country's eastern Zhejiang province, to Barking in London. The journey lasts for an average of 18 days and more than 12,000 kilometers, according to a Chinese government website.

 The route will “revolutionize the way freight is moved from China” said Mike White, director of its U.K.-based arm, Brunel Shipping. He explained that freight transport by sea from China to the U.K. can take twice the time of the new rail link. Also, it offers the potential for “huge savings” on existing air routes.

White added that freight transport by train may also have a green impact as there will be fewer containers on the motorway network should the rail service develop and grow in volume.

The route is the latest development in China's multi-billion dollar Belt and Road initiative, an infrastructure project which aims to connect the Middle Kingdom to the rest of the world via historic trading routes.

The China-U.K. service is operated by China's Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., which already runs freight routes to Spain and Germany. The London service will run once a week during its trial period, though it is not confirmed how long this will last for.
It passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London.

London is the 15th city in Europe to be added to China-Europe freight services, the Chinese government website detailed. It is hoped that the service will ”improve China-Britain trade ties (and) strengthen connectivity with western Europe,” the China Railway Corporation said.

Yiwu is known for producing small commodities, with the first train being loaded with clothing, household items and suitcases. According to the World Trade Organization, Chinese exports totaled US$2.27 trillion by the end of 2015, having fallen by 3% in that year.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Fidel_CasTroll

    The EU should place a transit-tax on it lol

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 10:42 am +1
  • golfcronie

    Won't be much left after travelling through all those countries.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 10:57 am +1
  • ChrisR

    Taking containers by sea, especially for heavy loaded containers, costs peanuts compared with rail freight.

    The new container ships are very economical to operate and offer choices to transport companies that the rail system cannot cope with.

    The only real risk is one of storm damage when some containers are lost overboard and this is so rare when compared to the sheer numbers carried each year that insurance cover is readily available and cheap. Even the largest and heaviest trains as seen in America cannot even begin to compete for overall volume and weight efficiencies.

    Perhaps the only merit this venture may have is the shorter travel time but that is only marginal, one unplanned holdup could easily remove that.

    You have to experience the container movement system to appreciate how good it is to realise that this venture will never compete on scale with the present options.

    Jan 05th, 2017 - 06:47 pm 0
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