The first rail freight service from the United Kingdom to China will embark on a 7,500-mile journey from Essex on Monday. The train will carry thirty containers of British goods including whiskey, soft drinks, vitamins and pharmaceuticals.
A DB Cargo locomotive will start its journey from the DP World London Gateway rail terminal in Stanford-le-Hope. The first journey of this rail freight will culminate at Yiwu in Zhejiang province, eastern China on 27 April.
After going through the Channel Tunnel, the train will pass through seven other countries, namely France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Those involved in the operations say that is is more economical to send goods via train than as compared to travel by air. It is also way faster than the sea route. The rail freight service is a part of China’s One Belt, One Road programme aimed at reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World chief executive as said that the first journey is a “significant trade occasion”. The DP World London Gateway is one of the UK’s largest logistics hubs. Sulayem says that the hub is designed and developed “to ensure that the products can be imported as well as exported from the UK via ship or train in a faster, safer and more reliable way than ever before,” a report in the BBC said.
He was also quoted as saying that they look forward to enabling and facilitating more trade between the UK, China and even more countries in the world.
The first rail freight service from China to the UK arrived three months ago.