New freight train connection runs between Mannheim and Qingdao
The train left Qingdao heading to Mannheim (Photo: Xinhua)

A new freight train connection of around 12,300 km between Germany’s Mannheim and China’s Qingdao has been launched to further link the two countries together. The first train of the line set off from Qingdao on February 18. According to operator China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), 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 U.S. dollars. It leaves China via the Alataw border-crossing in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corporation (SHSC), which operates the trains from Shandong Province to the chinese borders.

In addition, a freight train carrring high quality sheet materials left Mannheim. It will go through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Mongolia, arrive Qingdao City via the border-crossing Erenhot with a transit time of about 22 days.

More than 1,800 China-Europe freight trains were handled in east China’s Shandong Province in 2021 alone. Via a total of 51 international train routes, goods from Shandong can reach 54 cities and 23 countries along China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to the SHSC Group.