New Silk Road transport route opens between Harbin and Ekaterinburg

Silk Road transport route: A train with 47 containers loaded with $1.46m of Chinese-made bicycle parts and light industrial products that set out  from the Heilongjiang Province capital of Harbin last week is due to arrive in Ekaterinburg tomorrow. The 5,889km journey will have taken 10 days, cutting the best part of a month off the maritime alternative.
The opening up of the new route follows the launch of a cargo train link between Harbin and Hamburg in Germany in June last year, and the first freight train from China to Iran departed from Yiwu in east China’s Zhejiang province and arrived in Tehran in the middle of February. Volumes of containerized cargo travelling between China and Europe have been on the rise in recent years as operators increase frequencies and state organizations along the route lend their weight to the development of new services.
Two-way services from Asia’s largest railway hub in the city of Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province to Lodz in Poland were increased from twice weekly to five times per week at the beginning of the year,  with Germany’s DHL offering temperature controlled container services along the route for food and IT products.  
Other landbridge services are also expanding. Trans Eurasia Logistics (TEL), a joint venture between Germany’s national rail company Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways, launched a new regular weekly service between Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province and Hamburg last year. TEL also operates the Yuxinou service, the  700 yard-long container train that travels between Chongqing in southwestern China and the German port city of Duisburg three times per week and five times during peak season.