A container train, which left western China at the end of September, arrived in the Latvian capital city Riga on Monday, local media reported.
The train delivering 41 containers with food supplements from China to Western Europe left the Chinese city of Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Sept. 29.
This is the first container train arranged by Kazakhstan's railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) on the Urumqi-Altynkol-Riga-Rotterdam route. From Riga, the cargo will be shipped to the Dutch port of Rotterdam by sea.
Latvia can become a good choice for transport companies delivering cargos between Asia and Europe as the turnover of container cargos between Europe and Asia doubles each year, while the capacity of transport infrastructure remains the same, Edvins Berzins, CEO of Latvia's national rail company Latvijas Dzelzcels said, noting that the railway industry therefore must cooperate with ports and shipping companies to attract more such cargos.
"The route via Brest, which currently is used by some 5,000 trains a year, has practically reached its capacity limit. Clients therefore have to look for alternative routes to deliver their cargos to their destinations in the same time and for the same price. And this is Latvia's chance," the head of the Latvian rail company said.
"What we can offer is capacity and speed," he added.
Commenting on the container train from Urumqi which was greeted at the Freeport of Riga on Monday, Berzins declined to say when the next such train might arrive in the Latvian capital, but indicated that work is under way to arrange the next train and launch regular container train traffic on the route.
"This is hard work, affected by various circumstances, so I would rather not name the date for launching regular deliveries, but I am confident that at one point we will be able to announce the start of regular traffic," Berzins said.