A freight train on Wednesday began a journey from central China’s key city of Wuhan to Poland’s Lodz, restarting the Wuhan-Xijiang-Europe rail route after it was suspended for technical reasons.
Its 15-day journey will pass along the Silk Road economic belt through major cities in central and northwest China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus before arriving in the destination.
The rail trip is about one month quicker than the maritime alternative, and costs a fifth as much as air freight, according to the Wuhan Transport Committee.
“It will greatly improve the competitiveness of exports made in Wuhan and nearby regions,” said Yu Shiping, director of the committee.
The train is loaded with 41 40-foot containers holding goods valued at more than 12 million U.S. dollars.
Most of them are products made by Hon Hai/Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia in its plant in Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province.
Although railway transport is costly compared to maritime transport, it is a superior option bearing in mind how wildly electronic products prices fluctuate. They are more sensitive to the time-cost in transportation, according to the Foxconn plant in Wuhan.
In a month, the export value of one consignment of electronic products might devalue by about two percent, about several tens of thousands of dollars.