During his European tour, Chinese president Xi Jinping took time to visit and celebrate the arrival of the “Yuxinou” train which connects the cities of Chongqing, central China, with Duisburg, Germany.
The new intermodal connection to Europe’s largest inland harbour will take just 16 days to reach Chinese mainland, and it is hoped that the new link will greatly strengthen economic ties between the two nations.
About 250 guests of honour accompanied President Xi Jinping on his state visit to the port to witness the arrival of the “Yuxinou” and is the only company-based visit the president will make during his trip to the European continent.
During the event, Chinese trade minister Gao spoke of the importance of co-operation between the two nations saying “As a starting point and destination of the train, the Port of Duisburg plays a decisive role in the movement of goods between Germany and China. We will continue to further this development with our German partners.”
Erich Staake, chief executive officer of Duisburger Hafen AG also noted the importance of the train in strengthening relations.
“At the moment the Port of Duisburg is the only port in Europe that offers several transcontinental train connections to China,” said Staake.
“In Chongqing and Duisburg, two of the most important logistics turntables in China and Central Europe are connected to each other by rail.”
“The fact that the Chinese President has selected the starting point and destination of this train connection for his European trip underlines the importance China attaches to the economic and logistics location North Rhine-Westphalia.”
So far the Port of Duisburg has spent the first quarter of 2014 strengthening its intermodal links with several ports and cities around the work.
Earlier in the year, the local port authority announced the start of a new hinterland connection linking Duisport to the Antwerp Gateway terminal and following that, announced a similar three times weekly service with the Euromax Terminal, at the Port of Rotterdam.