BERLIN: A new freight rail link of approximately 12,300 km between Mannheim in Germany and Qingdao in China has been launched to further connect the two countries.
The first train on the line departed from Qingdao last Friday. According to operator China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), the train was loaded with 100 standard containers and is expected to arrive in the German city after a 22-day journey.
The train carries chemical raw materials, auto parts, daily necessities and other goods worth about $2.5 million.
It leaves China via the Alataw Pass port in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corporation (SHSC).
More than 1,800 China-Europe freight trains were transported in eastern China’s Shandong Province in 2021 alone.
According to the group, via a total of 51 international rail routes, goods from Shandong can reach 54 cities and 23 countries along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Cargo set up a new company DB Cargo Transasia in Shanghai at the end of 2021 to boost freight rail transport between China and Europe, connecting 18 European countries, according to the German public rail operator.
“Climate-friendly and reliable rail freight transport is becoming increasingly important for global supply chains,” Deutsche Bahn noted.
“Demand is booming on the New Silk Road, the railway linking Europe and China.”
In 2020, DB Cargo transported around 200,000 containers in both directions between Asia and Europe. By 2025, Deutsche Bahn aimed to more than double annual capacity to 500,000 containers.
According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), total foreign trade revenue between Germany and China increased by 15.1% year-on-year to 245.4 billion euros (278.5 billion euros). dollars) in 2021.
For the sixth consecutive year, China was Germany’s largest trading partner in 2021.