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Regular rail traffic to Wuhan resumes at Port of Duisburg

Regular rail traffic to Wuhan resumes at Port of Duisburg
Regular rail traffic has resumed between the port and China

Hutchison Ports Duisburg has welcomed one of the first trains carrying goods out of Wuhan since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as regular rail transport resumes between Duisburg and China.

Rail volume between the port and China was considerably reduced during the crisis in China, where half of all shipping traffic with China came to a temporary standstill.

Wuhan, which has been considered the starting point of the pandemic, along with the entire province of Hubei were cut off from all goods and passenger transport for approximately two months.

Due to the massive restrictions imposed in Hubei province, the Port of Duisburg experienced a significant drop in goods coming in from China and other Asian countries – particularly in March.

However, approximately 40 trains now once again travel between Duisburg and various destinations in China every week.

Erich Staake, CEO of duisport, said: “It won’t be long until we have returned to the previous level of trade with China.

“While the Port of Duisburg felt the consequences of the pandemic with a certain delay, I definitely expect to see some catch-up effects with regard to the China business.”

Staake expects to see significantly higher volumes of goods as early as the second half of April.

Feng Haiyang, consul general of the People’s Republic of China in Düsseldorf said: “Our country was hard hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus. But we are confident that things will slowly return to normal.

“The resumption of international rail transport from Hubei is an important part of this process, and a reliable option for industry and trade.”

Transportation minister of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst added: “The fight against the virus is still on-going, but the fact that rail traffic between Asia and Europe is working smoothly again is a good sign that things are going back to normal.”

After 76 days in isolation, the travel ban for the city of Wuhan was lifted on March 24, 2020.