ZUBR container block-train could reach China via Azerbaijan

Latvia is interested in extending the ZUBR container block-train route through Ukraine to Azerbaijan and then to China, said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics in a briefing after negotiations with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku Feb. 13 (Trend Agency).

The discussion highlighted the issue of attracting cargo deliveries from Azerbaijan by the ZUBR container train connecting transport hubs in the Baltic, Black and Caspian Sea regions.

The ministers agreed that the successful positioning of ZUBR depends on a competitive offer of tariffs and, therefore, it is essential to promote dialogue between the responsible public institutions and the private sector.

First China – UK direct rail freight service launched

China’s Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment has started operations of a new direct rail freight service between the Chinese city of Yiwu (Zhejiang province) and London (Barking Rail Freight Terminal). The lead time is 18 days door to door and the service will run once a week during the trail period.

Yiwu is known for producing small commodities, and the train mainly carried such goods, including household items, garments, cloth, bags and suitcases. The freight train will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.

London is the 15th city in Europe added to China-Europe freight train services. The service will improve China-Britain trade ties, strengthen connectivity with western Europe, while better serving China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes, the China Railway Corporation said.

The number of freight trains on China – Europe route also increased dramatically in 2016 to 1,702 trains, an increase of 109 percent compared to 2015.