China has launched a new railway route from Xi'an to Mannheim, Germany, which crosses the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea using combined rail and sea transportation.
The first train, loaded with goods, like sports equipment, clothing, and bedding, left the international port of Xi'an on Wednesday, April 19. The train will pass through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic before reaching Mannheim in Germany, covering a total distance of 11,300 kilometers.
"The new route covers countries and regions rarely visited by China-Europe freight trains in the past, opening up new markets for domestic and international enterprises," said Yuan Xiaojun, general manager of Xi'an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation Company.
He said the route provides new opportunities for domestic and international trade and logistics enterprises.
"The new rail connection has improved transportation efficiency and reduced transportation costs for enterprises. In the current situation, it gives our company a new opportunity to stabilize exports," said Jia Min, manager of an international logistics company in Xi'an.
Currently, Xi'an has 16 major freight train routes to Europe, passing through 45 countries and regions along ‘the Belt and Road’. The Belt and Road Initiative is a global strategy adopted by China to improve physical infrastructure through land corridors that resemble the old Silk Road network.