January 25, 2021

China's 'all-in-one' train | Fortune

China's 'all-in-one' train | Fortune



It covers the Madrid-Yiwu line and vice versa, and travels a distance of 13,052 kilometers. It is the longest railway line in the world, which starts in Yiwu, a commercial city 300 kilometers away from Shanghai, which passes through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France and finally travels through Spain until arriving in Madrid. In total, 21 days of travel, which in the future will be reduced to 18, with stops in Barcelona and Zaragoza, given that the latter is one of the provinces most involved in the project.

The new railroad route emerged in 2014 as part of the One Strip, One Route strategy, approved by Chinese Government President Xi Jinping and former Spanish President Mariano Rajoy. In November of that year the first train left for China. Since then, inside all kinds of merchandise travels. From Spain wine, oil and prime building materials are exported, while from China, technology, bazaar products, fashion, footwear … "They are diverse products, but there is one issue that must be taken into account and it is the Russian veto that exists in both directions, both from the EU to Russia and vice versa, and that does not even allow the introduction of fresh products through the country. , like fruit, vegetables or meat ", explains Carlos Santana, general manager of Timex Industrial Investment, an international operator of railway platforms and logistics service provider, who keeps anonymous the name of the companies that use the train to transport merchandise, although he anticipates that it is used by large groups distribution and logistics, fashion, spare parts, assembly … "The important thing is that we offer a custom train, we have the capacity to tailor made", Add.

At present there are 14 trains, which go through four different types of routes along the trip, driven by 60 machinists. "In Timex we work 500 people, we go through eight countries with their eight customs and eight governments, and all this requires the participation of a large number of people. The only thing that remains intact along the route is the container because the trains change frequently. If there is a setback, you can think of alternative routes, "adds the manager.

Precisely, the Foundation for the Exchange between Yiwu and Spain, on the occasion of the celebration of the third anniversary of its creation and to promote the exchange between both countries, presented yesterday in Madrid a commemorative trip to this region of China, which will transfer, not by train but by plane, a hundred Spaniards, between government representatives, business associations, port organizations, businessmen and artists, among which is a representation of the tuna of the University of Alcalá and even a flamenco painting. It will be between May 20 and 28, coinciding with the celebration of the Imported Products Fair of Yiwu 2019, in which Spain is a guest country, and which receives more than 130,000 potential buyers. Because the objective is to "export the best of our culture, gastronomy and business, as well as learn from their business culture," say the promoters, among whom is the Municipal Government of Yiwu. Three scholarship students will also join the trip, with the aim of discovering how local e-commerce works.

For eight days, the Spanish delegation will know how the Chinese market works, in a gesture to favor future commercial relations and turn this Silk Road into a round trip. Because "the longest train in the world has to serve as a vehicle for our oils, wines and many other signs of identity, such as flamenco, to get to know each other even more outside our borders," explained the spokespersons for the initiative.

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