Popular greentech solutions on the train to China

Dutch agriculture and green technology is in high demand in China. From water tanks, irrigation systems to greenhouse cooling systems; they are imported from the Netherlands. Recently, the transport is also carried out by train. In order to give this industry an extra boost, a dedicated logistics park has been included in a multimodal solution to facilitate this trade.

The logistics park is situated in free trade zone of Zhangjiagang. Although there are many domestic and international connections from this city on the eastern coast, Zhangjiagang itself is not a city known for its rail freight connections with Europe.

The advantage of the location is in the business incentives, explains Rob Brekelmans, who as a consultant works for Claassen Logistics. “We have just set up this service for Meteor Systems, a producer of cultivation systems.”

Business incentives

The Zhangjiagang Bonded Logistics Park serves as a sort of distribution centre. Here, the goods can be stored, for the period required until a customer is found. These customers may be in China, or abroad in countries as South Korea, Japan, Vietnam of Australia. “Usually, machines or products that are temporary imported must be exported within six months. But the logistics park can serve as a leasing company, allowing for the goods to be stored until they are purchased”, explained Brekelmans.

Apart from this advantage, storage at the bonded logistics park means that an import duty or VAT does not need to be paid upon entering the country. “Principally, the goods are not cleared at the local customs authorities, so the clearance costs are not applicable. They will need to be paid at the moment of sale This is something unique for Chinese customs.”


The city of Zhangjiagang is not an isolated place. Train as well as truck call on the hub from various Chinese locations, such as Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing and Hefei. These places are central hubs on the New Silk Road, meaning that trains to and from Europe serve these cities on regular basis. “Zhangjiagang has good connections to these hubs”, said Brekelmans.

For the final transport leg to the customer, Zhangjiagang has a strategic position on the coast on the Yangtze River, from where shipping services are available to countries as South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Australia.

New Silk Road

Claassen Logistics is itself not involved with the transport to China.The company has a joint venture in the CIS countries and Kazakhstan (Eastlink) and China (Coastlink). “Agritech products from the Netherlands are also in high demand in the CIS countries and Kazakhstan. The rail freight service is also available to these destinations, offered by the respective companies”

“This rail product was specially set up for the agri- and greentech sector, which delivers some of the most wanted export products from the Netherlands to China, Russia and Kazakhstan. In these countries people are very keen of the highly innovative greenhouse solutions from the Netherlands”, said Brekelmans. “Meteor Systems is the first to use the full service.”


Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone was established in 1992 and is the only free trade zone at the inland river port. Its functions encompass export processing, bonded warehouse,
international trade and commodity exhibition.

Zhangjiagang Bonded Logistics Park was established in 2004 and is the largest logistics park linked to the port. It offers international transfer, international procurement, entrecote trade, international distribution and last-mile delivery.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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