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On July 13th 2021, the first direct train from the Chinese city of Hefei in Anhui province reached the JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven, a partner of New Silk Road Network. The train departed Hefei on 25 June with a volume of around 100 TEU, carrying mainly household appliances as well as textiles and electrical goods, which will be distributed from Wilhelmshaven to the hinterland.

(Train arrives at JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven)

The operator of this new train connection is the state-owned port operating company Hefei International Land Port (HILP), which now also connects Germany's only deep-water container port with Hefei as part of the "One Belt One Road" initiative. The partner on the German side is DB Cargo Eurasia, which has already been operating on the Eurasian Corridor since 2008 to meet the transport demand for block trains and individual containers between China and Europe and which became a regular service in 2011.

Representatives of politics, regional business and settlers received the first direct train at an event held at the JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven freight village with Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Hamburg, Mr Xiaohui DU, Minister President Stephan Weil, State Secretary in Lower Saxony's Ministry of Economics, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation, Dr Berend Lindner, and Wilhelmshaven's Lord Mayor Carsten Feist at the helm.

Anhui Province and the State of Lower Saxony have been cooperating in a spirit of partnership for more than 35 years. The Minister-President was pleased to note: "The container train connection between Hefei and Germany's only deep-water port is proof of the partnership between Anhui Province and Lower Saxony. With this connection, Lower Saxony shows that our rail infrastructure can act as a component of the New Silk Road."

(From L to R: Lord Mayor Carsten Feist; Prime Minister Stephan Weil; Consul General of the People's Republic of China Xiaohui DU; Managing Director Andreas Bullwinkel)

A Strategic Cooperation Agreement between HILP and Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven JadeWeserPort-Marketing GmbH & Co. KG (JWPM) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between JWPM, China Logistics and the Anhui Provincial Port & Shipping Group were established. These two agreements are the prerequisite for the rapid establishment of regular traffic between Hefei and JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven.

The Managing Director of JWPM, Andreas Bullwinkel, was delighted about the arrival of the first China-Europe block train and the cooperation with HILP: "We are very pleased that we have succeeded in establishing this train connection between Wilhelmshaven and Hefei and thank our partners in China for their trust and the opportunity to also become part of the rail-based "One Belt One Road" initiative. The portfolio of the freight transport centre and the container terminal will thus be enriched. We wish the new connection a good utilisation and hope for a further expansion of the rail-side network to China." NSRN congratulates them for this monumental achievement and wish them the best on their endeavors.

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