New China-Spain train route boosts trade links

The first goods train of a new rail route between China's Shanxi province and the northeastern Spanish city arrived safely at the port's facilities at the end of April.

14 May 2024 03:23am
This photo taken on May 8, 2024 shows a commemorative China-Europe freight train linking Yiwu of east China's Zhejiang Province and Madrid of Spain for the 10th anniversary of operation preparing to depart in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)
This photo taken on May 8, 2024 shows a commemorative China-Europe freight train linking Yiwu of east China's Zhejiang Province and Madrid of Spain for the 10th anniversary of operation preparing to depart in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gustavo Valiente/Xinhua)
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BARCELONA, Spain - A new train route between China and the Port of Barcelona is set to boost trade links with the Asian country, a port authority executive told Xinhua in an interview on Monday.

The first goods train of a new rail route between China's Shanxi province and the northeastern Spanish city arrived safely at the port's facilities at the end of April.

The first train of the China-Europe Railway Express from Shanxi to Barcelona departed from Taiyuan, Shanxi on March 22, and traveled for 35 days, covering over 12,000 kilometers.

The cargo carried includes castings, furniture, canned goods, auto parts, daily necessities, and more. Since the first departure in 2017, the China-Europe Railway Express from Shanxi has regularly operated 16 routes, reaching more than 40 cities in 15 countries, with a total of 782 trains operated.

"This train strengthens the commitments the Chinese have made in choosing Barcelona, not only as a gateway into Europe but also as a Mediterranean center of distribution," Carla Salvado, deputy general manager of Commercial and Marketing at the Port of Barcelona, told Xinhua.

"Geographically, the Port of Barcelona is in a very good strategic location because as well as being in Europe we are also on the Mediterranean Sea," she added.

The TPNova rail operator, one of Spain's leading transport companies, will run the new goods service on behalf of the Huayuan Chinese business group, which provides logistics services from its base in Shanxi.

The successful arrival of the train from Shanxi in April is the first fruit of the agreement between the Spanish and Chinese companies, signed in Barcelona in November.

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The China-Europe Railway Express has connected 112 cities within China, passing through over 100 cities in 11 Asian countries and regions, and reaching more than 200 cities in 25 countries and regions in Europe. It has become a flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative, which aims to facilitate the international flow of goods.

"China is our strongest trading partner and so any link with China is very welcome and we're very happy to appear on the map of the New Silk Road promoted by the Chinese authorities," said Salvado.

According to the Port of Barcelona executive, the new train service is a "good complement" to the logistical air and maritime services already offered by the port.

The train left Shanxi with 50 goods containers, of which about half were unloaded in Germany, with the rest arriving in Barcelona's port for distribution elsewhere in Spain. - XINHUA

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