China-Europe freight train trips hit 10,000 mark, a yearly volume increase of 5%
A China-Europe freight train departs from Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, to Hamburg, Germany, August 21, 2022. (Photo: China Railway)

The number of China-Europe freight train trips in 2022 hit the 10,000 mark on Sunday, 10 days earlier than last year, data from the China State Railway Group Co. Ltd. (China Railway) showed. The freight trains have carried 972,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of goods so far this year, a yearly increase of 5 percent, according to the company.

Since the first train set out from southwest China’s Chongqing municipality to western Germany’s Duisburg in March 2011, the China-Europe freight train service has recorded marked development.

To date, the freight train service has launched 82 routes to 200 cities across 24 European countries. The transport network has covered the whole of Europe, carrying more than 50,000 varieties of goods across 53 categories, ranging from clothing and automobiles to grain and timber.

An official from the China Railway said in a press release that the company has stepped up infrastructure construction this year. As a result, the average daily traffic volume of the China-Europe freight trains in routes in the west jumped by 20.7 percent, the middle by 15.2 percent, and the east by 41.3 percent, compared with 2020 before the capacity expansion.

The China-Europe freight train has played an important role in strengthening international economic and trade ties and ensuring the stability of the global industrial and supply chains, an official of China’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a press conference last week.

China was European Union’s largest trading partner and the EU was also China’s largest in 2021, with total bilateral trade reaching $828.59 billion. In spite of pandemic headwinds and supply chain crises, China and EU trade volume had increased steadily by reaching 413.9 billion euros (almost the same amount of U.S. dollars), in the first half of 2022.

Experts say the trade between China and Europe is highly complementary to each other and there is a big room for the two sides to further develop their bilateral economic and trade relations. In this regard, China’s west-bound railway has become an important network linking China and Europe.