Cargos are piled at Intermodal Terminal DIT in Duiburg, Germany, July 13, 2016. As many as 8 cargo trains from China arrive at this terminal every week, carrying Chinese products to Europe. (Xinhua/Yan Feng)
A new freight train connection of around 12,300 km between Germany's Mannheim and China's Qingdao has been launched to further link the two countries together.
The first train of the line set off from Qingdao last Friday. According to operator China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), the train was loaded with 100 standard containers and is scheduled to arrive in the German city after a journey of 22 days.
The train is carrying raw chemical materials, auto parts, daily necessities and other goods worth around 2.5 million U.S. dollars. It leaves China via the Alataw Pass port in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to Shandong Hi-Speed Group Corporation (SHSC).
More than 1,800 China-Europe freight trains were handled in east China's Shandong Province in 2021 alone. Via a total of 51 international train routes, goods from Shandong can reach 54 cities and 23 countries along China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), according to the group.
Deutsche Bahn's subsidiary DB Cargo established a new company DB Cargo Transasia in Shanghai at the end of 2021 to strengthen rail freight transport between China and Europe, connecting 18 European countries, according to the German state-owned rail operator.
"Climate-friendly and reliable rail freight transport is becoming increasingly important for global supply chains," Deutsche Bahn noted. "Demand is booming on the New Silk Road, the rail route connecting Europe and China."
In 2020, DB Cargo transported around 200,000 containers back and forth between Asia and Europe. By 2025, Deutsche Bahn was aiming to more than double the annual capacity to 500,000 containers.
According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), total foreign trade revenues between Germany and China increased by 15.1 percent year-on-year to 245.4 billion euros (278.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021.
For the sixth year in a row, China was Germany's most important trading partner in 2021.