In no way can the border of Małaszewicze be called a ‘bottleneck’ on the New Silk Road. The problems have been solved and the terminal currently has forty per cent of spare processing capacity. Train traffic through this border crossing should be increased. This was the message of Polish operator PKP Cargo for its Chinese partners.
The deputy director of the Bureau for Promotion and Investor Relations of PKP Cargo Andrzej Banucha made the remarks during a meeting with the municipality of Zhenzhou, the capital of the Central Chinese province of Henan. The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding, committing to further develop the rail freight route between the countries. The Polish operator said to have convinced its Chinese partners of the improvements made, after it had expressed serious concern about the border crossing, according to Polish media outlet Next Gazeta.
The Małaszewicze-Brest border crossing connects Poland and Belarus and is the most popular border crossing on the railway route between Europe and China. However, rail freight operators mention long waiting times and congestion at this border point. In a regular trip, trains wait at the border for two to three days. This easily becomes five days, while waiting times can also extent into weeks.
“These issues have been solved. There are currently no problems with the reloading of goods. On the contrary – to use the full business potential of Małaszewicz, a dynamic increase of trains running through his border point is needed”, said Banucha, adding that the border point now has the capacity to handle three to four trains a day.
10 thousand journeys
On Sunday the 10 thousandth train between China and Europe arrived in Wuyishan railway container centre station in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province since March 2011, when the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) was launched. The train originated from Hamburg in Germany, another popular European destination on the Eurasian railway network. The milestone was reported the Chinese media publication Xinhua.
As of 30 June, China’s rail freight services link 48 domestic cities with 42 European cities. New connections are continuously being developed and transit times improved. Apart from improvement works at relevant border crossings, alternative routes are developed in order to divide the traffic streams. According to rail freight operators, these alternatives are still needed in order to establish a reliable railway service.
New Silk Road Congress
On 27 September the New Silk Road Congress takes place in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Shippers, logistics providers, lawyers, operators and other experts from all over the world will discuss the current state of affairs on the railway connection between Europe and China. More information, such as the programme in English or Dutch can be found here. Note: presentations will be held in Dutch and English; translation from Dutch to English will be available.