China COSCO Shipping Corp Ltd's first China-Russia multimodal transportation service kicked off on Friday from Tianjin, headed for Moscow with 46 containers measuring 40 feet (1,220 cm) long.
The train will also stop in Ereenhot, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region; Zamyn-Uud, Mongolia; and Naushki, Russia.
It will take 14 days to complete the 7,600 kilometer trip to Moscow.
The train will start once each week from Tianjin and Moscow.
The first train is loaded with automobile parts, telecom equipment, craftsmanship works, garments and electronic appliances shipped by COSCO Shipping from southern and eastern China to Tianjin, according to Liang Yongcen, president of the Tianjin Port Group.
The Tianjin Port will significantly benefit from the China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor and it is beefing up efforts to enhance the strength of the multimodal transportation services, thanks to the Belt and Road Initiative, Liang said.
COSCO Shipping and China Railway Corp recently announced enhancements to their partnership in train and rail services.
More multimodal transportation services are in the pipeline from Shanghai, Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, and Qingdao, Shandong province, connecting ports and railways, said Huang Xiaowen, vice-president of COSCO Shipping.
Just one day before the multimodal train left Tianjin for Moscow, Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan province, and Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, opened their first 2018 freight train services to Europe.
Those services have seen a big jump in numbers. During 2017, 3,600 China-Europe freight trains offered their services, surpassing the total number of combined runs from the previous six years.
Wu Jingyu, director of the Coordination Center of China-Europe Freight Train Service under the China Communication and Transportation Association, said the surge in train services has significantly benefited from government subsidies.
He told National Business Daily that some train lines are in losses and many companies are not upbeat about the existing economic returns.