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            october 14, 2019

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Backhaul freight service on the Zhengzhou-Hamburg railway will commence on March 30


Backhaul freight service on the Zhengzhou-Hamburg railway will commence on March 30 on a monthly schedule, Xinhua reports.
Since last July, the service has made 20 runs, rising to weekly frequency, which to be increased to twice weekly in May from Zhengzhou, the capital Henan province.
The 51-car freight stops at 14 stations including Poland's Malaszewicze, Moscow, Duisburg and Hamburg on its 15 day journey from Zhengzhou on the Yellow River, equidistant from Beiing and Shanghai.
Since the launch of the Zhengzhou-Europe cargo railway service, some of the European clients have moved their warehouses to Zhengzhou (pop 8 million), where cost is lower than in Europe, said Ge Ruisi, a sales manager from a local manufacturer.
In addition to Chongqing and Chengdu, which also run similar services, Hefei (pop 1.6 million) 200 kilometres west of Shanghai, and Xi'an (pop 8.4 million) 400 kilometres to the west of Zhengzhou, are also applying to launch their own China-Europe rail services.
As China becomes the largest trading nation, the Eurasian Land Bridge may become one of the busiest cargo transport routes, says Xinhua.
This has changed the conventional cargo distribution methods and the time between a product going down a production line and going to market, Mr Ge said.
European clients are moving production facilities eastwards because of Zhengzhou-Hamburg railway's schedule and transit times which are half that of ocean shipping and costs that are 70 per cent less than air freight.
Mr Ge said such advantage may turn the northern city into a production and distribution centre for European brands.
Zhengzhou is already a rail and road centre, and is also developing into an air hub. The city has UPS, DHL and Alibaba's Cainiao, which have taken and provided freight for the rail service.
Cai Xuejun, a manager of Shanghai logistics company said that Zhengzhou already has a well-developed multi-modal network, which accelerated distribution and shortened collect of payments.
For example, if a company buys mostly electronic products, the value of a single rail car of goods can be about CNY3 million (US$487,000) and that of several cars can be tens of millions. Earlier collection of outstanding payments means faster capital turnover, which will accelerate the entire operation, said Mr Cai.

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