Jul 21, 2021 / 16:58

First rail freight service from Hanoi to Belgium

As international sea transport is facing difficult times, there are a surge in demand for international goods transport from Vietnam to the EU.

Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) has launched its rail freight service from Vietnam to Belgium, opening up more rail transport routes to European countries in addition to the existing connections to Germany and Poland. 

Vietnam Railways Corporation's subsidiary opens its freight service to the EU. Photo: Ratraco

The first container train left Vietnam to Belgium on July 20, from Yen Vien Station, Hanoi, and is expected to arrive in Liege City, Belgium next month.

The train will make a transit at China’s Zhengzhou city. Another locomotive of the Asia-Europe train will pull the rolling stock to the final destination, according to the VNR.

This was the first container train jointly operated by VNR's subsidiary Railway Transport and Trading JSC (Ratraco) and delivery businesses from other countries to provide logistics services between Vietnam and other countries. 

The train, including 23 containers of 40 feet in length, carries Vietnamese goods such as textiles and footwear exported to Belgium.

Ratraco and its European partners have planned to conduct eight trips per month departing from Vietnam. The total estimated transport time is about 25-27 days. 

The second train carrying electronic products will depart on July 27 and the third one on August 3, from Yen Vien Station.

As the increasing demand for cargo from Vietnam to the EU is hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and international shipping facing tough times, rail freight is expected to be a way out to help businesses promote goods trading across borders.