City's rail link to Europe gives exports a boost
The Hunan-Europe Express Line will begin operating a daily freight train service from Changsha in 2018, according to officials from the Changsha transportation bureau. Return freight journeys are planned two or three times a week.
The international rail line, which stretches nearly 12,000 kilometers, began operating in October 2014.
For its debut run, two cargo trains loaded with containers of Chinese premium products, including porcelaCity's rail link to Europe gives exports a boostin and tea, departed Xia'ning Railway Port in the provincial capital Changsha to travel directly to Duisburg in Germany and Tashkent in Uzbekistan, respectively.
An inland region, Hunan used to mainly depend on ocean shipping for its international transportation, but this was unable to meet the rapid development needs of the province's export-oriented economy, said Xia Zhaohui, general manager of Hunan Xiang Ou Express Co.
"The launch of the international express line helped break Hunan's development bottleneck," Xia said.
As an operator of several train lines heading to European countries, Xiang Ou Express has played an important role in promoting the province's international trade and logistics.
Its business involves various fields such as electronics, clothes, chemicals, engineering equipment, tea and red wine.
The thrid phase of Changsha New Port is under construction and is expected to be finished at the end of 2018. [Photo provided to China Daily]
The company exports nearly 100 kinds of goods in over 10 categories, including liquid crystal display panels, microwaves, hammocks, wooden products, toys and oatmeal.
The Hunan-Europe freight train line has one main route and two sub-routes.
The main route starts from Changsha, leaves China through the Alataw Pass in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland before reaching Duisburg in Germany.
It takes 18 days to complete the journey.
With less travel time and cost, an increasing number of Hunan companies have chosen the line to export their products.
The rail company said from October 2014 to October 2017, the line delivered a total of 23,000 TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units), of goods worth $1.18 billion.
This year, the line opened new regular routes from Changsha to Minsk in Belarus and Budapest in Hungary, and return routes from Hamburg in Germany and Budapest to Changsha.
Source: China Daily