China-Europe maritime and terrestrial express lines in smooth progress
In 2014, China, Serbia, Hungary and Macedonia announced a joint plan of Land-Sea express links between China and Europe.
Along with improvements in infrastructure, transportation and logistics, the project aims to move commodities more efficiently and achieve a win-win result for participating countries.
The port of Piraeus in Greece is the convergence point for the China-Europe Land-Sea express lines. [Photo: China Plus]
The port of Piraeus in Greece is the starting point of the China-Europe Land-Sea express lines project.
As of January this year, the port has become increasingly important as a convergence point between China and Europe for commodity transportation by sea and overland.
Luo Zhongming, the managing director of the COSCO Shipping Developing Company, being interviewed by CRI. [Photo: China Plus]
Luo Zhongming is the managing director of COSCO, the largest integrated shipping company in China, and the second largest in the world.
"Current shipping times from Shanghai to the port of Piraeus are 20 days, which is the shortest delivery time in the market. Now the entire maritime transportation from the Piraeus port to some inland regions of China and Europe only takes three to five days, a saving of five to ten days compared to the traditional transportation times. Due to this advantage, the China- Europe express service is gradually being favored by customers,” he said.
The Hungary-Serbia railway, a joint project by China, Hungary and Serbia, is focused on land transportation.
Milutin Ignjatovic, part of the rail project management team, being interviewed by CRI. [Photo: China Plus]
Milutin Ignjatovic, part of the railway project management team, points out its significance in promoting regional economic development.
"To the north, it can connect to Germany's high-speed rail network, and to the south, it can link Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece. The establishment of the high-speed rail network is not only able to save time, but it is also the safest and most environmentally friendly means of transportation. This efficient passenger and freight transport pattern will completely replace the old railway network, and play a major role in boosting the regional economy,” he said.
This March the renovation of a section of the Serbian railway, undertaken by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, formally got underway.
Renovation work on the Serbian railway, being undertaken by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation. [Photo: China Plus]
The Director of the company's Serbian office, Zhu Tianran, points out, the project also enhances local employment and infrastructure.
"In the implementation process, we subcontract the majority of the work to local firms. So this can help create more jobs for local people. In this project, we have ten Chinese employees. The foreign side includes subcontractors, equipment leasing, and materials procurement. Currently, the local construction team has 200 to 300 employees. The proportion of Chinese personnel is very small and the project basically belongs to the localized management,” he said.
The project is also expected to expand financial cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation in culture, education, as well as tourism between China and European countries.