LONDON: April 10, 2017. The first ever container train from the UK to China has left DP World's London Gateway port pulled by DB Cargo with British exports of soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products.
The train will make the 7,500 mile, 21-day trip to Yiwu in China's Zhe Jiang province after passing through the Channel Tunnel to France and Belgium before DB Cargo hands over at Duisburg, Germany to an InterRail engine for the rest of the journey through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazahkstan and into China.
The inaugural export train left nearly three months after the first import train from China arrived at Deutsche Bahn's London terminal in Barking, Essex. The train, operated by the InterRail Group on behalf of China Railway International Multimodal Transport, took 18 days to travel the 12,000 kilometers from Yiwu.
OneTwoThree Logistics was responsible for the export block train on behalf of Yiwu Timex that also operates China Railway Express lines linking Yiwu with, Spain, Russia, Belarus and Latvia.
On hand to see the train depart was Ms. Liming Liang, vice governor of the Zhejiang province, Rupert Soames, UK business ambassador for Infrastructure and Transport, DP World Group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, the Mayor of Yiwu Shi Wenzhen, and Xubin Feng, chairman of Yiwu Timex.
Greg Hands, UK minister of State in the Department for International Trade said: "This new rail link with China is another boost for Global Britain, following the ancient Silk Road trade route to carry British products around the world.
Xubin Feng added: "We are proud to be able to offer the first ever UK to China export train. Restoring the ancient Silk Road as a means by which China, North Europe and now the UK can exchange goods is an important and exciting initiative.
"This is the first export train and just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China. We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster."
Kerry Logistics also participated in the block train on behalf of a customer according to group managing director William Ma: "We are extremely excited to be the first Asia-based global 3PL to move eastbound freight from Europe along the One Belt One Road trade route, turning part of the roadmap into reality."
Last August the company delivered a rail freight shipment of over 80 containers from Yiwu to Madrid in 19 days via eight countries. London is now the 15th European city to be added to the China-Europe rail network under the Belt and Road Initiative.