Whisky on first UK freight train to China

Scotch whisky and baby food are just some of the products on the UK to China freight train

The UK’s first rail freight service to China is to start its 7,500-mile journey today, carrying British goods including whisky and soft drinks.

The train will depart from the DP World London Gateway rail terminal in Stanford-Le-Hope in Essex. It will travel through seven countries before reaching its destination of Yiwu in Zhejiang Province, eastern China on April 27.

The service leaves three months after the first freight rail service from China to the UK arrived.

According to operator DB Cargo, it is cheaper to send goods via train than by air and is faster than sea.

Cheaper to send goods via train

The service is part of China’s One Belt, One Road programme, which hoped to revive the ancient Silk Road trading routes with the west.

Chris McRae, The Freight Transport Association’s head of rail freight policy, said: “The new UK to China rail link adds another dimension to trading opportunities between the two countries, providing trading deadlines can accommodate the timescales involved in the lengthy journey. 

“It certainly provides importers and exporters with an additional option for provision of trade, but its long term cost efficiency may be hampered by the additional loading and offloading required en-route to accommodate the varying gauges through Europe.”

UK to China freight train – at a glance
  • Departing from DP World London Gateway rail terminal in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex on April 10.
  • Arriving at Yiwu in Zhejiang Province, eastern China on April 27.
  • The train’s cargo contains Scotch whisky, baby food, soft drinks, vitamins and pharmaceuticals.
  • Distance of 7,500 miles.
  • The train will travel through seven countries: France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

DP World chief executive Ahmed Bin Sulayem said it was a significant trade occasion that would enable more trade between the UK, China and the whole world.

He told BBC News: “DP World London Gateway, one of the UK’s largest logistics hubs, is designed and developed to ensure products can be both imported and exported from the UK via ship or train in a faster, safer and more reliable way than ever before.”

Below is a selection of posts from the social media site Twitter commenting on the new service.

World’s largest shipping lines

Meanwhile, five of the world’s largest shipping lines have announced plans to create more services to the UK.

Global container shipping consortium ‘The Alliance’ has announced that all of its mainline UK calls will be handled by DP World, the Dubai-based global ports and logistics services company.

The consortium of container shipping lines – which comprises Hapag Lloyd, K-Line, MOL, NYK Line and Yang Ming – will bring vessels on its FE1 , FE2 and FE4 services into DP World Southampton and those on FE3 and FE5 into DP World London Gateway, all of which link Asia and Europe.


What was the Silk Road?

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce.

Source: Ancient History Encyclopedia

Related News

China's grocery market is predicted to become more online

Chinese online grocery market ‘to double’ by 2020

Icelandic Seachill's production line will be used to create a virtual reality environment for training

Fish firm in ‘ground-breaking’ virtual reality training

Read our exclusive survey, charting the changing face of food and drink supply chains

Food Manufacture’s exclusive Supply Chain and Logistics report: read for free

The Food Manufacture Group is conducting an online survey to find challenges facing supply chain professionals (iStock/AndrePopov)

Survey to highlight supply chain challenges

Manufacturers are being urged to focus on supply chain consolidation and collaboration

Grocery supply chain set for revolutionary changes

British beef exports to China worth millions of pounds move a step closer recently

British beef exports to China, worth millions, move closer

Chinese consumers: consider EU food safety standards to be some strictest in the world

UK food gets mixed reception from China

Halal food and drink should be the UK's focus once it leaves the EU: Abdalhamid Evans

Halal food a ‘bigger market than China’

Food and drink firms have received a five-step guide to export success

Food manufacturers get five-point export advice

The Topping Pie Company has found export success in New Zealand. Roger (left) and Matt (right) Topping

Export success for pork pie producer

UK exports rise after 2015 dip

FDF first-half results show 9% rise in UK exports

Scotch whisky exports were on the rise for the first time in three years: SWA

Scotch whisky exports growth is first for three years

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.