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."