China-Europe rail freight strengthens trade relations

The China-Europe rail freight train is preparing for its first trip between Shanghai and Germany at the Shanghai Minhang terminal in October. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With a fast and swift customs clearance process, the China-Europe rail freight service between Shanghai and Hamburg in Germany has enjoyed a growing reputation among global importers since its launch in October.

A route connecting many major hubs in Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, the service has played a key role in stimulating trade between markets. He also helped exhibitors at the fourth China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai earlier this month, deliver their high-end equipment to their booths for visitors.

Bosch Thermotechnology, a German supplier of energy management solutions and participating in the CIIE, is one of the companies that profit from the freight service.

The company succeeded in bringing its Condens 7000 WP, a smart heating boiler, from Germany to the exhibition hall. The Shanghai event was its first global stop after launching in the Netherlands, said Wang Yunfeng, senior marketing director of Bosch Thermotechnology China.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more and more people to furnish their home offices, and we have seen an increase in demand for high-quality German products in the Chinese market,” Wang said. “The transit by sea takes too long (normally 60 days) and by air too expensive. Rail freight is therefore our best choice, not to mention the China-Europe freight train service which was also convenient. “

As such, rail freight has become the most suitable option for large, high-end products. Wang added that his company uses the freight service from Chongqing to Hamburg.

“We have ordered goods in advance, to allow more time for transportation from Chongqing to other national cities,” he said. “With the Shanghai-Hamburg route already operational, we plan to switch to the Shanghai-Germany route soon, as our main national warehouse is based in Taicang, in Jiangsu province, a city next to Shanghai. “

China Railway data showed that in the first 10 months of this year, there were 12,605 China-Europe rail lines in service, up 26 percent year-on-year, carrying 1.216 million TEUs (equivalent to twenty feet) of freight, a 33 percent increase over the same period last year.

The growth in bilateral trade between Germany and its largest importer, China, is one of the main reasons for this increase. According to a report by Xinhua, bilateral trade between the two countries grew 3% year-on-year to reach € 212.1 billion (€ 238.06 billion) in 2020, with € 116.3 billion. of goods exported to China, an increase of 5.6% compared to 2019.

For Germany, electrical equipment and optical products are the most popular imports from China, while automobiles account for the bulk of German exports to China, financial media Yicai said.

Developing industries such as new energy vehicles and high-end equipment are a key part of Shanghai’s efforts to become a hub of global innovation, experts said.

To this end, the route between the metropolis and Germany will be “crucial for international logistics, and the Minhang terminal will be a central distribution center in the eastern coastal area to strengthen Shanghai’s role in the allocation of global resources. Said Wang Jinqiu, president of Orient Silk Road Co, a Shanghai-based rail management company that helps operate China-Europe rail freight from Shanghai.

“An advantage of rail freight is that declarations and inspections are also processed faster than air and sea freight,” said Wu Tuzi, vice director of the Shanghai company.

“We are committed to building an open and market-oriented trading hub in Shanghai that is equipped with all the necessary equipment to process goods efficiently, as well as a platform that accommodates third-party logistics companies for jointly promote the sustainable development of the hub, ”Wu said.

“So far, we have received many orders from international companies, and more routes from Shanghai to Russia or parts of Central Asia are likely to open in the future. “

Xing Yi contributed to this story.

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