(Yicai Global) Oct. 30 -- A China-Europe train tailor-made for French sporting goods vendor Decathlon SA departed from Wuhan, in south-central Hubei province on the morning of Oct. 28.
The train headed towards Dourges harbor in northern France, 10,815 kilometers away, passing along the important channels through which China conduct trade with the countries of the Belt and Road initiative on its course.
This is the first China Europe Special Train nationwide customized for a retail enterprise. The new Wuhan, China to Dourges, France route is a nonstop railway, with an ideal transit time of 16 to 18 days, nearly 20 days shorter than conventional harbor-to-harbor shipping, thus drastically lowering logistics costs, said Wang Lijun, Chairman of Wuhan Han'ou International Logistics Co.
"The China Europe Special Train tailor-made for retail enterprises is unprecedented in China," said Wang Lijun. The train is loaded with various sports products of proprietary brands manufactured and purchased by Decathlon in China, including sportswear, equipment, devices and innovative products. The train from Wuhan, China to France will pass through countries of the Belt and Road Initiative, such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany.
All products will be distributed at the Intercontinental Logistics Center built by Decathlon in Dourges to the firm's retail stores in the EU, including France, Spain, Italy, Poland, England, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
The proportion of goods purchased from China's eastern coastal cities and transferred to Wuhan rose 15 percent last year, the firm said. This special train will run regularly (once per week) in the future, transport Decathlon's exports from China, and gradually increase its investment and procurement in China, especially its middle and western areas.
Decathlon and other transnational trade enterprises will directly benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative. The China-Europe Special Train (Wuhan) operated 42 trips in 2014, and 164 trips in 2015, an increase of nearly fourfold over the previous year, data show. This number will increase to 260 next year.