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Yiwu-Prague Train Makes First Run
Post Time: 27/09/2017

On September 9, the China Railway Express’s first Yiwu-Prague train departed from Yiwu West Railway Station, marking the first round trip of the ninth route of international freight trains from Yiwu.

 

Round Trip Between Yiwu and Prague

At 10 a.m. on September 10, the China Railway Express’s first Yiwu-Prague train started its 10,000-kilometer journey to Prague at the sound of a whistle.

The train has 44 carriages containing 88 TEUs of small commodities purchased from Yiwu market, including cloth, clothing, footwear, scarves, and Christmas ornaments, accounting for a total value of more than 22 million RMB. The train crossed the Alataw Pass and proceeded through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Poland before reaching Prague, the capital of Czech Republic.

The first trip of the Yiwu-Prague train marks the first time for Yiwu’s small commodities to be transported to Czech Republic directly by train, and completes the first successful round trip of the train. 

On July 19 of 2017, the China Railway Express’s first Prague-Yiwu train made its first run from Prague, which was the first among the China Railway Express train routes to make its first run departing from Europe towards Yiwu, rather than the reverse. The train carried a total of 82 TEUs and transported high-quality European goods and Czech-made goods like crystal, auto parts, and beer, with a total value of 5 million USD.

Ma Keqing, Chinese ambassador to Czech Republic, and Karel Novotný, vice minister at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, witnessed the departing ceremony of the Prague-Yiwu train.

 

New China-Czech Logistics Channel

The Czech Republic has a competitive edge in its domestic industries like machinery manufacturing, the chemical industry, metallurgy, textiles, footwear, wood processing, glass making, and beer brewing. Specifically, its textiles, footwear, and beer brewing industries are world-renowned.

Located in Central Europe, Czech Republic is a typical landlocked country in terms of trade. Previously, there were two main ways to transport Yiwu’s small commodities to the country: shipping the goods to the port of one of its neighboring countries by sea, then transferring the goods by land transportation to Czech Republic; or transporting the goods via the Yiwu-Madrid train to Poland or Germany, then transferring them to Czech Republic, again by land transportation. Of the two, the former takes over one month. While the latter takes far less time, it often causes trouble in the process of transferring goods in Poland or Germany.

With the beginning of the operation of the Yiwu-Prague Train, it only takes about 16 days to transport Yiwu’s small commodities directly to the Czech Republic, which is both time-saving and more convenient.

 

Most Routes of International Freight Trains from Yiwu

As the largest distribution center of small commodities worldwide, Yiwu trades with over 200 countries and regions around the world. The number of Yiwu-based foreign businessmen amounts to more than 10,000 people, and over 400,000 foreign buyers come to Yiwu each year.

Close trade contacts are supported by an efficient logistics system. Since January 20, 2014, Yiwu has opened nine international freight train routes, connecting the city directly to five countries in Central Asia, Madrid, Tehran, Chelyabinsk, Mazar-i-Sharif, Minsk, Riga, London, and Prague. Now, Yiwu boasts the most routes of international freight trains in China. The China Railway Express has become a golden business card for Yiwu, and for Zhejiang Province. In the past three years, President Xi Jinping has praised the China Railway Express’s Yiwu-Madrid Train on several major international occasions.

By the end of August 2017, Yiwu’s international freight trains had completed 228 round trips and  transported 18,500 TEUs of goods in total. Among them, the Yiwu-Madrid Train made 93 round trips and carried 8194 TEUs from January to August, with an annual increase of 126.4%. (By He Bailin, translated by Kang Meiling, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

 

 

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