First freight train from Shanghai arrives in Europe via Russia’s railways
On 28 September 2021, a container train departed from Minhang Station in Shanghai in China. It consisted of 50 forty-foot containers (FEU) loaded with clothing, car components, solar panels, dishes, furniture, basic necessities and other goods.
This was the first time that goods from Shanghai have been delivered to Europe by container train along the Trans-Eurasian route.
The train crossed China and on 2 October arrived at the Dostyk/Alashankou border crossing, where the goods will be transhipped from the Chinese narrow gauge line to the wider tracks used in the Former Soviet Union. From there, it transited the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus as part of the regular services of the Joint Stock Company United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (JSC UTLC ERA) before crossing the Belarussian-Polish border at Brest – Malashevich and then travelling on through Poland and Germany to its final destination station in Hamburg.
The estimated transit time of two weeks is at least twice as fast as shipping by sea.
According to Shanghai Customs, trains on this route will now run regularly on a weekly basis.
In mid-October this year, it is also planned to launch a container train travelling in the opposite direction, from Europe to Shanghai, with countries due to take part in the IV China International Exhibition of Imported Goods and Services CIIE-2021 scheduled to send their exhibits there.