Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/9Pz76pveRxk
When Feifei sends parcels back home to China, she uses the Lodz-Chengdu rail link, one of the longest railways in the world. Though she doesn’t realize it, she’s a very tiny part of offsetting a very big trade difference.
A native of Hangzhou, Feifei came to Poland to improve her standard of living. The European country is now China’s largest trade partner in the region with bilateral trade reaching US$17.09 billion in 2015.
But when the freight trains leave from the city of Lodz bound for Chengdu in southern China, their containers are far from full.
The block trains that allow containers to cross continents are mostly used for transporting manufactured goods such as electronics and machinery. It’s no surprise therefore that China, factory of the world, had a lot more to offer Poland than it gets in return. But this is changing.
The central government in Warsaw intends to use the Lodz-Chengdu block train to export more products to China and forge closer cultural links.
Piotr Glonik, a transportation manager in Lodz explains the benefits of avoiding loading from container to plane, as would be necessary without a freight rail link. “The delivery time is significantly reduced, there are less problems that arise along the route, and the goods are well protected.”
This option, cheaper than air freight, quicker than by sea, is proving popular with people such as Feifei. Businesses in Poland are also making use of the empty containers that return to China to export high quality local products: beer, fruit juices, food and clothing.
The twice-weekly service carries multi-sized containers that pass through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus on a 10,000km journey of 14 to 15 days. This is expected to rise to five times a week later this year.
The rail link is part of China’s “new silk road”, also known as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative comprising land and sea links facilitating European trade. Poland is one of 60 countries involved in the initiative, which is viewed as an opportunity to inject momentum into economic development.
Distributed by The China Box
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Contact Person: Song Xu