First UK to China Rail Freight Departs from DP World


The first ever UK to China export train has departed today (April 10, 2017) from DP World London Gateway’s rail terminal in South Essex, laden with containers full of British goods.

The train has departed just under three months after the first ever import train from China arrived in the UK and will make the 7,500 mile, three-week-long journey to Yiwu in the Zhe Jiang province in eastern China.

DP World's combined UK deep-sea container port and logistics park is using China's One Belt, One Road trading route due to it being cheaper and less restrictive than air freight and faster than sea freight.

Technical paper: China’s One Belt One Road

Cargo includes soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products.

The consignment comes less than two weeks after the triggering of Article 50 and the start of the formal process of leaving the European Union, which has placed an emphasis on the UK to secure trade deals with countries all over the world.

After passing through the channel tunnel into France and Belgium, the DB Cargo locomotive will call in Duisburg, Germany before InterRail pull the cargo through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazahkstan before the train crosses to Yiwu, China.

Container operator OneTwoThree Logistics is overseeing the transportation and booking of cargo for the UK/China rail freight trains, in conjunction with Yiwu Timex Industrial Investments Co., which is running the service with China Railway Container.



Greg Hands, Minister of State in the Department for International Trade, said: “This new rail link with China is another boost for Global Britain, following the ancient Silk Road trade route to carry British products around the world.

“It shows the huge global demand for quality UK goods and is a great step for DP World’s £1.5bn London Gateway Port as it also welcomes its first regular container ships from Asia.”

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World said: “DP World is a leading enabler of global trade, with its network of marine and inland terminals, industrial zones and logistics and ancillary services to ensure nations all over the world can move goods in, out and inland efficiently and reliably.

“DP World London Gateway, one of the UK’s largest logistics hubs is designed and developed to ensure products can be both imported and exported from the UK via ship or train in a faster, safer and more reliable way than ever before.”



Xubin Feng, Chairman, Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co., said: “Restoring the ancient Silk Road as a means by which China, North Europe and now the UK can exchange goods is an important and exciting initiative.

“This is the first export train and just the start of a regular direct service between the UK and China. We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster.”

Read other Silk Road stories

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