China-Europe freight train services are continuously improving and their travel schedules are becoming ever-stable, China Railway Container Transport Corp said on Monday.
One such train arrived in Duisburg, Germany, on Saturday night. Carrying photovoltaic inverters, electric compressors, vacuum cleaners and other products, the train departed from Xi'an in northwestern Shaanxi province 11 days earlier and traveled 9,908 kilometers to its destination.
The freight train followed a set schedule along its entire route, allowing customers to anticipate the transport time between cities and improving the service quality.
Compared with regular China-Europe freight trains, the new service has fixed carriages, routes, shifts and set schedules in all sections, including in countries with different railway gauges.
The cross-border trip involves reloading containers from one gauge to another. The new service better controls the operation time by improving efficiency at border stations and during the reloading process, which ensures a more stable transport time.
The second trip offering such a service departed from Xi'an and headed to Duisburg on Nov 2.
To improve the service's competitiveness and offer a more stable schedule, railway operators and service providers from seven countries including China and Germany have jointly drawn up a coordination plan to manage set schedules.
China State Railway Group started formulating schedules along four routes between China and Europe at the beginning of this year.
After several rounds of discussions with railway operators and service providers in countries along the routes including Kazakstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, the first set schedule of the China-Europe freight train service between Xi'an and Duisburg was completed in October. Trial operations began along the route on Oct 26.
As the service provider, China Railway Container Transport Corp has played an important role in ensuring the smooth operation of China-Europe freight trains.
In China, it provides containers and loading plans, inspects freight notes and assists in the handling of customs.
The company also works with regional railway operators in the provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu, as well as the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, to ensure that trains follow a set schedule in China.
When the trains leave China, the company carries out real-time monitoring and offers information to local railway operators and service providers.
The next step is to develop more routes with set schedules to improve the quality of China-Europe freight train services, which can better support the smooth international industrial supply chain, the company said.