On Thursday evening the first freight train from China arrived at the Rail Service Center Rotterdam. The train, carrying 80 containers, departed from Kumming (Yunnan Province) in China on 5 July 2015. Travelling via Kumming (China) – Zabaykalsk (CN-RU border) – Belarus – Brest/Malaszewicze (BY-PL border) the train reached Malaszewicze (Poland). There the units destined for Rotterdam were loaded onto wagons built for a European track gauge.
The train’s shuttle operator was the company CARGOSPED and PKP Cargo, the largest Polish rail transport company, drove the train throughout Europe. Rotterdam Rail Feeding (RRF) placed the train inside on the RSC. Cargosped has since indicated that this is not a one-off; a number of trains will also be coming to the RSC in August and September.
Port Authority’s response
China has set up a Silk Road Fund which has $40 billion at its disposal to invest in infrastructure along the ‘new silk road’. Rotterdam is glad that the Chinese trains are now also arriving in Rotterdam. This ‘new silk road’ is significant for the further development of Rotterdam as a European logistical hub for all kinds of modalities and for the Rotterdam rail product in particular. Rotterdam is expressly investing in the improvement of rail transport to and from the port of Rotterdam. Equally, with regard to transport to and from England this could mean extra cargo.