Image: Port of Hamburg Authority

Port of Hamburg-Xuzhou rail link becomes a regular

Image: © Port of Hamburg Authority.

The rail freight service between the Port of Hamburg in Germany and Xuzhou in China becomes regular with two itineraries per month. After the initial freight train trip between the two destinations last November, six more trains connected the two cities in five months. Consequently, according to the Port of Hamburg, the service has proved its viability and, thus, will acquire a stable place in the Eurasian timetables.

The service is part of the Xuzhou-Europe Railway Express. It uses two different terminals in Xuzhou for its departures-the Tongshan rail freight terminal and the Huaihai International Land Port. During its trip towards Europe, the train uses the Erenhot border crossing and passes through Mongolia, Russia, Belarus and Poland until it reaches Hamburg in Germany. From there, cargo gets dispatched towards various other European destinations. Finally, a typical block train comprises 94 containers weighing approximately 477 tonnes and takes 18 days to cover the 6,000 kilometres distance.

Hamburg on the New Silk Road

According to the Port of Hamburg, this connection is one of the many established during recent years. In particular, the German hub has managed to acquire 232 rail links with 20 different destinations in China. It sees up to 40 trains travelling on Eurasian tracks per month, with steadily growing volumes, even during the hectic pandemic times.

Understandably, rail and the New Silk Road are becoming increasingly important for the port’s throughput and objectives since it carries a substantial part of cargo volumes on trans-continental transportation. “The New Silk Road is an important addition to seaborne services on the global supply chain between China and Germany,” mentioned Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing.

Xuzhou an important hub

Xuzhou is currently among the main Chinese rail hubs. It’s positioned in the Jiangsu province and is a crossroad for multiple high-speed rail connections between cities like Beijing and Shanghai or Lianyungang and Lanzhou. Moreover, its rail freight terminal operated by China Railways is the biggest in Eastern China. On top of that, the city also has seaborne connections with central ports on the country’s East Coast.

Most importantly, though, the city bears another interesting characteristic. Specifically, it is home to the Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG), the world’s fifth-largest machinery construction group. XCMG builds various machinery, including trucks, cranes, earth-moving and road-building equipment. Its products find their way to Europe frequently using the Xuzhou-Europe Express.

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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