On January 31, a China-Europe Express train loaded with 100 TEUs departing from the logistics base of Hefei North Railway Station to Prague via Khorgoswas dispatched in cooperation between Hefei International Land Port Development, China Railway Container Transport, China Railway International Multimodal Transport, Beijing Trans Eurasia International Logistics, and Air Sea Transport. The dispatch of this train marks the opening of a new line of the Hefei China-Europe Express, which currently reaches 36 cities in 11 countries including Germany, France, Russia, Netherlands, with newly added Czech Republic to the list.
“The freight value of this train was nearly $ 5.1 million, and the cargo weighted more than 590 tons. The cargo included lawn mowers, LED electronic displays, optical cables, X-ray scanning system components and more”, said Shen Xiaogen, the chairman of Hefei International Land Port Development Co., Ltd.
The opening of the new line ‘Hefei North-Prague’ promotes the business development between the two countries. According to Romana Sperlikova, Business Development Executive at Air Sea Transport in Shanghai, the interest from Czech companies is enormous. On Feb 5 the second block train was dispatched to the Czech Republic, and Mrs. Sperlikova believes trains could be dispatched on weekly basis, if the demand persists after Chinese New Year. The majority of the containers was bound for the Czech Republic, however the line can be used by neighbouring countries as well.
The opening of the new line undoubtedly contributes to business development and strengthening relations between the two countries. It is a welcome step, especially during these challenging times for international cargo amidst the global pandemic. Rail cargo offers a good alternative to sea transport, and it seems there will be a stable demand for it even after Chinese New Year.
Compared to sea cargo prices, Mrs. Sperlikova explains that even though prices also went up in rail cargo transportation, they are quite comparable at the moment. Rail transport, however, is much faster, therefore more demand is to be expected. Their recently dispatched train is expected to arrive in Prague in about 16 days after passing the customs in Hefei.