A new freight train connection of around 12,300 kilometers between Germany’s Mannheim and Qingdao, Shandong province has been launched to further link the two countries together.
The first train of the line set off from Qingdao last Friday. According to operator China Ocean Shipping Co, the train was loaded with 100 standard containers and is scheduled to arrive in the German city after a journey of 22 days.
The train is carrying raw chemical materials, auto parts, daily necessities and other goods worth around $2.5 million. It leaves China via Alataw Pass port in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, said Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corp.
More than 1,800 China-Europe freight trains were handled in East China’s Shandong province in 2021 alone. Through a total of 51 international train routes, goods from Shandong can reach 54 cities and 23 countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, the group said.
Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary DB Cargo established a new company called DB Cargo Transasia in Shanghai at the end of 2021 to strengthen rail freight transport between China and Europe, connecting 18 European countries, the German state-owned rail operator said.
“Climate-friendly and reliable rail freight transport is becoming increasingly important for global supply chains,” Deutsche Bahn said. “Demand is booming on the New Silk Road, the rail route connecting Europe and China.”
In 2020, DB Cargo transported around 200,000 containers back and forth between Asia and Europe. By 2025, Deutsche Bahn aims to more than double annual capacity to 500,000 containers.
Its Federal Statistical Office said total foreign trade revenue between Germany and China increased by 15.1 percent year-on-year to 245.4 billion euros ($278.5 billion) in 2021. For the sixth year in a row, China was a key important trading partner for Germany.