China is seeing a growing number of rail freight services to Europe, in spite of lack of profitability on the the services. Efforts are being made to integrate these services with different cities to reduce high costs. Costs are higher than they should be because of the lack of cargo on the return journey from Europe to China.
After the launch of direct rail freight services between Changsha in central China’s Hunan province and Duisburg in Germany in October, and between Yiwu in Zhejiang province and Madrid in November, China now operates a total of eight such rail freight routes through its “Silk Road economic belt”.
Before the launch of the Yiwu-Madrid service, Chongqing had also announced an increase in the frequency of its service to Duisburg, the first direct rail freight service between China and Europe, launched in October 2011.