Safe and reliable rail transport strengthens duisport’s role as a European hub in the trade with China
Regular rail traffic to Wuhan resumes:
There are a lot more goods flowing out of China again: One of the first trains carrying goods out of Wuhan since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was welcomed to the premises of the Hutchison Port in Duisburg (formerly DeCeTe) by North-Rhine Westphalia’s Transportation Minister Hendrik Wüst, Feng Haiyang, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Düsseldorf, Dr. Roland Pütz, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Duisburg, and duisport CEO Erich Staake.
China’s industrial production is returning to its former strength after the epidemic has subsided in that country. The metropolis of Wuhan, which has been a partner city of Duisburg since 1982, along with the entire province of Hubei, were cut off from all goods and passenger transport for approximately two months. Wuhan is considered the starting point of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Port of Duisburg was also affected by the impact of the massive restrictions imposed in Hubei province and experienced a significant drop in goods coming in from China and other Asian countries (e.g. South Korea), particularly in the month of March.
Approximately 40 trains now once again travel between Duisburg and various destinations in China every week. This volume was considerably reduced during the coronavirus crisis in China. Half of all shipping traffic with China came to a temporary standstill. But since the lock-down was lifted, China's economy has quickly started up again.
“Our country was hard hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. But we are confident that things will slowly return to normal. The resumption of international rail transport from Hubei is an important part of this process, and a reliable option for industry and trade. We rely on our strong connection with duisport as a major logistics hub in central Europe,” says Feng Haiyang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Düsseldorf.
“The travel ban for the city of Wuhan was lifted on 24 March, after 76 days in isolation. The end of the lock-down for this city, which was so hard hit by the coronavirus, also has a symbolic meaning. We all know that the coronavirus crisis will continue to have a lingering effect in North Rhine-Westphalia and also in China. The fight against the virus is still on-going, but the fact that rail traffic between Asia and Europe is working smoothly again is a good sign that things are going back to normal,” explained Hendrik Wüst, Transportation Minister of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
“It won't be long until we have returned to the previous level of trade with China. While the Port of Duisburg felt the consequences of the pandemic with a certain delay, I definitely expect to see some catch-up effects with regard to the China business,” says duisport Chief Executive Officer Erich Staake. “As early as in the second half of April, we expect to see significantly higher volumes of goods, to which the duisport Group will respond with increased terminal capacities and short-term storage solutions. Our network also works in crisis situations,” adds Staake.
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