July 30, 2017

First train of Volvo cars arrived at Belgian port of Zeebrugge, from China

Travelling from the Chinese province of Heilongjiang, Zeebrugge port recently received its first train carrying Volvo cars. This officially marks the launch of the ‘New Silk Road’. The railway link between Heilongjiang and Zeebrugge is expected to enjoy between four and six departures weekly.

Not long ago, the first train arrived at Wielingendok, in Zeebrugge’s outer port, as part of the “China Europe Railway Heilongjiang-Zeebrugge” railway route. Every train will be delivering about 176 VOLVO S90 vehicles, bringing them from Geely assembly plant, in Daqing, to Zeebrugge, for onward distribution. Each train wagon is able to hold three vehicles. Meanwhile, it takes just 20 days for the complete journey, travelling trhough Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany. It’s expected that there will be at least 300 departures annually, from Heilongjiang.

The port of Zeebrugge is partnering Chinese Changjiu Logistics Group to serve the Heilongjiang-Zeebrugge silk road route. On June 2nd, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding, launching the China Europe Railway.

It’s foreseen that between 30,000 and 40,000 new VOLVO vehicles will be delivered to Zeebrugge annually using the route.

Joachim Coens, CEO MBZ NV, tells us, “This fast rail connection between our coastal port and China again confirms the strong ties between China and Zeebrugge. This project strengthensthe automotive sector in our port, while serving Chinese interests in the container sector: APM Terminals Zeebrugge (Shanghai International Port Group: 25%) (COSCO Shipping Ports: 23.99%). In using the New Silk Road Platform, we’ve signed agreements with China Minmetals Corporation and with China COSCO Shipping Corporation. We’ve also recently signed an understanding with China Development Bank, so that Chinese exporting companies wishing to set up distribution centres in Zeebrugge can receive financial support.”



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