The first freight train in history to travel from China in Poland arrived in the Polish city of Gdańsk last week, prompting those attending a ceremony to mark the historic occasion by launching confetti in celebration.
The journey took only 10 days compared to the 45 to 50 days it normally takes to complete a sea route from China to Poland. The journey was also four days shorter than a freight train journey to Duisburg, Germany, where most Chinese rail freight destined for the region currently arrives.
Despite rail freight transport costing almost twice as much as sea route transportation, there has been significant interest in the new rail connection in Poland. On Nov. 21, the first freight train to travel between China and Poland arrived in Gdańsk from Xi’an.
“In many situations, the time of transportation is more important than its price for recipients,” Łukasz Szutenberg of Adampol company, the train’s owner, explained during a ceremony to celebrate the train’s arrival from China.
He added that his company’s train traveled from Xi’an to Gdańsk in only 10 days, whereas maritime transportation from Central China to Gdańsk would take between 45 to 50 days.
“Many entrepreneurs can deliver several shipments [using rail transport[ and, despite higher costs, earn more money in the long term,” Szutenberg said.
Prior to this freight train’s journey, the vast majority of cargo trains traveled to Duisburg in Germany instead of Gdańsk, despite the trip being four days longer.
The deputy head of the Port of Gdańsk Authority, Marcin Osowski, emphasized that four days is a significant difference in cargo transportation and a time difference Poland should use to its advantage.
The deputy minister of maritime economy, Grzegorz Witkowski, was also pleased with the new freight train connection, as he believes that it “proves that Polish ports can compete with German ones.”
“We have our advantages and we want to use them, as we can only benefit from that, such as having larger income for the budget and increasing opportunities and possibilities for our entrepreneurs,” the minister said.