A China-Europe freight train loaded with anti-epidemic supplies that left Yiwu, Zhejiang province, for Malaszewicze in Poland on Monday is this year's first direct rail shipment of protective materials from China to Europe.
The train, loaded with 100 containers of anti-epidemic supplies and daily necessities, including masks, protective suits, syringes, hardware and auto parts, is expected to arrive in Poland in 13 days. Part of the cargo will then be transferred to another train for shipment to Hamburg, Germany, authorities in Yiwu said.
This batch of epidemic prevention materials was purchased by Poland's Zarys Pomaga Company under the commission of the Polish government, a manager with the China-Europe freight train service said.
Since March 21, when the first batch of medical supplies to combat COVID-19 was sent by rail from Yiwu to Madrid, the Spanish capital, China-Europe freight trains have contributed greatly to the global fight against the virus.
The China-Europe freight train service has been hailed as a main channel through which much-needed commodities, anti-epidemic materials and daily necessities have been delivered to Europe amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
China-Europe freight trains delivered 76,000 metric tons of anti-epidemic materials last year to destinations including Italy, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, the Netherlands and Lithuania.
Du Jianbo, director of China Railway Shanghai Group's Jinhua Cargo Center, said 1,399 China-Europe freight trains departed from Yiwu or Jinhua last year, a year-on-year rise of 130 percent.
Zhejiang province is the source of 28 China-Europe freight train services that carry goods to 59 countries in the Eurasian region.
The commodities transported by the trains include hardware, textiles and clothing, auto parts, daily necessities and engineering equipment.
The European Union and China are two of the biggest traders in the world.
China is now the EU's second biggest trading partner, behind the United States. The EU is China's biggest trading partner.
A record 12,400 China-Europe freight train trips were made in 2020, up 50 percent year-on-year, according to China's national railway operator.
It was the first year in which more than 10,000 freight train trips were made between China and Europe, China State Railway Group said.
The trains transported 1.14 million containers last year, up 56 percent year-on-year.