At the beginning of September, DB Cargo and the Hefei municipal government signed a memorandum of understanding. The both partners pledge to initiate rail freight transport from Hefei to Hamburg and then expand operations along the route. The initial plan foresees one train per week starting at the beginning of October.
Dr. Jürgen Wilder, CEO of DB Cargo, said: “We are thrilled that we can continue to expand rail transport with Hefei along the traditional Silk Road route. The constantly rising transport volumes of the trans-Eurasian land bridge demonstrate that railway has established itself as a competitive alternative to other modes of freight transport. I firmly believe that more customers will use rail services to transport their goods to and from China in the future.”
Running via Dostyk in Kazakhstan, Moscow and Warsaw, the route to Germany covers the total of 10,600 km and each freight train requires 15 days to complete the trip. Due to its nodal position in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, Hefei is a freight hub for customers from eastern and southern Chinese regions. Freight is varied, including wares such as photovoltaic components, computers and textiles. The transports are organised by Trans Eurasia Logistics, a joint venture between Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways. Trans Eurasia Logistics has been offering viable train connections between Europe and a host of Chinese regions for several years.
Hefei’s municipal government wants the undertaking to be its contribution to Beijing’s Silk Road project of One Belt – One Road. China intends the use the project as an opportunity to shape infrastructure activities in other countries and thus play an active role in over 65 different national markets.