CHONGQING -- A new freight rail has started operating across Eurasia, linking the southwest Chinese economic hub of Chongqing with the Port of Antwerp in Belgium and cutting the travel time for goods traded between China and Europe in half, officials said Tuesday.
The 11,179 kilometers of rail, running through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and Germany, was first used on March 19. Transporting goods from Chongqing to Antwerp on this route takes about 16 days, or half the time required for the goods to be transported by sea, Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan told reporters.
Huang said the freight rail is also safer and less expensive than sea transport, which has been the dominating method for processing trade between China and European countries.
The rail supplements the 10,800-kilometer-long Eurasian Land Bridge to the north and will be mainly used to link south China's Pearl Delta manufacturing hub and the country's southwest industrial belt with Europe, officials said.