Graaco, a logistics company in the Drents town of Coevorden, are campaigning for the creation of a direct rail link from the Netherlands to China. The company says that the train journey would be twice as fast as a cargo ship.
Translation by Thomas Ansell
Graaco is currently in talks with a number of rail operators about the potential of the so-called “C2C” – Coevorden to China – line. The company hopes to run the first train between China and Drenthe at the end of this year, or the beginning of 2020.
“In the last year, the rail link between China and Europe via the New Silk Road has grown strongly”, said director Ben Blog, the director of Graaco, to RTV Drenthe. “Coevorden is the only place in the Netherlands with a direct connection to the German rail network. That means we have good potential connections with China.”
Blog believes that the C2C service would be advantageous for the dairy, agricultural, and industrial sectors, as well as the increasing number of imports to the Netherlands from Chinese webshops. Where a trip by boat would take 45 days, Blog says that products travelling via train connection are significantly faster: between 22 and 25 days.
There is already a similar line between the German town of Duisburg and China. In January 2017, the first China to UK freight service started, and companies in the southern Netherlands have been offering freight forwarding from Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenzen to Hamburg, Duisburg, and Tilburg since around 2015.
Photo source: Wikipedia