Chinese operator Wuhan expects big rise in Europe-bound trains
Chinese rail operator Wuhan Han’ou International Logistics Co. says it expects a 30 per cent growth in freight services to and from Europe this year.
Wuhan, which operates a link between Wuhan City in central China and Europe, expects around 500 freight trains to head to the West from China during 2018. That compares to 377 trains in 2017, which carried a total of 34,000 containers, according to the official news agency of the Chinese Government, Xinhua.
The starting point for Wuhan-Europe rail freight services is the Wuiiashan Terminal, which had three rail lines for arrivals and departures last year. Wu Guangming, General Manager of Wuhan, said an additional five lines had been installed during January to meet rising demand.
He said the company expected to handle more freight, not only from neighbouring provinces but also from northeast China, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Guangdong. The company is also planning to open new routes from Wuhan to Ukraine, Turkey and Iran.
Since launching its East-West axis in 2012, Wuhan has operated 16 rail routes to European cities including Moscow, Hamburg, Duisburg, Lyon, Gorzow in Poland and Pardubice in the Czech Republic.
The trains departing Wuhan carry automobiles, electronic components, steel products, optical fibres and cables. Trains on the return leg are usually full of dairy products from Belarus, wine from France and beer from Germany.
In total, China-Europe rail services are available between 28 Chinese cities and 29 cities in 11 European countries. More than 4,000 freight train trips have been made between Chinese and European cities since start of operations in 2011. The first China-Europe line was launched in 2011 between Chongqing and Duisburg in Germany.