New international railway lines are helping to connect modern day China with Europe.
The first line starting from southwest China’s Chongqing was put into use over six years ago. Companies use it to transport high-end products from Chongqing to Duisburg in Germany.
Laptops assembled in Chongqing are making their way to Europe’s biggest economy thanks to this railway.
In 2016, over 58 million laptops were assembled here. And the majority were sold overseas, with about 40 percent going to Europe.
Companies in Chongqing benefit from a comprehensive transportation network. But for companies shipping to European destinations, the intercontinental railway line offers relatively fast and inexpensive shipping options.
Alan Lo, a senior finance manager in Inventec Chongqing Corporation, said this train line cut transportation time in half compared with shipping by sea, and it’s about one-fifth the cost of shipping by air, now that the number of freight trains has increased.
Trains are loaded with containers filled with laptops and other high-end products in a train hub in Chongqing. They will cover a distance of over 11,000 kilometers, as they cross the Eurasian continent, before reaching their final destination in Duisburg, Germany.
Countries along the route are working together to ensure the line runs smoothly.
Yang Liqiong, deputy director of the Chongqing Economic and IT Commission, said a one-card-for-all system is among the measures helping ease the release of cargo during customs clearance checks in all of the countries along the railway line.
So far, over 260 global companies have set up workshops in Chongqing, and an increasing number of products built here are shipped by train to Europe, including: vehicles, machinery, clothes, and coffee.
Yang said in a typical week, about nine trains leave for Europe and five or six come back to Chongqing.
A total of 500 freight trains are expected to ship goods along the line in 2017.