First freight train from China's small commodity hub arrives in Belgium's Liege
11.06.2019
Staff unload containers from the freight train of the China Railway Express (Yiwu-Liege) Alibaba eWTP Cainiao in Liege, Belgium, Oct. 25, 2019. The first freight train from eastern China’s Yiwu, world famous marketplace for small commodities, arrived in Liege, Belgium on Friday, creating a new link between Europe and China. Loaded with 82 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of cargo, the China Railway Express (Yiwu-Liege) Alibaba eWTP Cainiao train arrived at the terminal in Liege after a 17-day journey. (Xinhua/Pan Geping)

LIEGE, Belgium, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The first freight train from eastern China's Yiwu, world famous marketplace for small commodities, arrived in Liege, Belgium on Friday, creating a new link between Europe and China.

Loaded with 82 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of cargo, the China Railway Express (Yiwu-Liege) Alibaba eWTP Cainiao train arrived at the terminal in Liege after a 17-day journey.

This new freight connection is the first rail line dedicated to cross-border e-commerce between China, Central Asia and Europe. Its launch marks the beginning of a new era for the China Railway Express. The new service is part of the cooperation between Yiwu City and Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) proposed by Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

After reaching Liege, the parcels can be dispatched to other European countries via eHub, owned by Alibaba's logistics arm Cainiao Network in Liege, and other regional distribution channels. The new route is expected to cut the delivery time from Yiwu to Europe by at least one to two days.

Michel Kempeneers, COO Overseas at Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX), said during the arrival ceremony: "Yiwu is at the heart of e-commerce development in China, and the departure of cargo trains offers Walloon and European exporters new opportunities to reach the Chinese consumer market at a lower cost."

The Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Cao Zhongming said: "The opening of the China Railway Express is a further achievement in the cooperation between China and Belgium, particularly in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative."

Source: Railfreight

Analytics on topic
Report
06.06.2019
Report
06.06.2019
China’s High-Speed Rail Development
Over the past decade, China has built 25,000 km of dedicated high-speed railway—more than the rest of the world combined. China’s High-Speed Rail Development examines the Chinese experience to draw lessons for countries considering investing in high-speed rail.
Article
09.04.2020
China’s rail shipments to Europe set records as demand surges for Chinese goods amid coronavirus

Once regarded as merely ornamental, freight service along Belt and Road trade routes has become increasingly important as exporters turn to railway transport