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Relaunch of Wuhan-Europe railway

30 April 2014
Services have resumed on the Wuhan-Xijiang-Europe rail route after they were suspended for technical reasons.

A freight train bound for Lodz in Poland began its 15-day journey on 23 April. It will pass through central and northwest China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus before arriving at 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 Wuhan Transport Committee.

The train is loaded with 41 forty-foot containers, most of them containing electronic goods made by Hon Hai/Foxconn, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia at its plant in Wuhan.

These products are highly time sensitive, according to the Foxconn plant in Wuhan. Over a month, the export value of one consignment of electronic products might devalue by about two per cent, amounting to several tens of thousands of dollars.

The Wuhan-Xijiang-Europe railway opened in October 2012, but it was later suspended due to problems with customs clearance and costs.

Following the creation of a railway port with customs clearance functions in Wuhan in October 2013, the complicated clearance procedures were finally resolved. “Export enterprises can declare their goods in the railway port. It greatly reduces their logistics costs and risks,” said Xia Huanyun, deputy director with the Wuhan Transport Committee.

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