Vietnam Railways launches freight train service to Belgium

Vietnam Railways (VNR) on July 20 added a new rail freight link from Vietnam to Belgium, with the first train departing from Yen Vien station, Hanoi, and expected to arrive at Liege City in Belgium.

Vietnam Railways launches the first freight train service from Vietnam to Belgium. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam Railways launches the first freight train service from Vietnam to Belgium. (Photo: VNA)

Then, containers will be delivered to Rotterdam city (Netherlands) by lorries.

VNR said the train carried 23 containers with such goods as textile, leather and footwear. During its journey, the train will stop at Zhenzhou city of China's Henan province and connect to the Asia-Europe train to reach its destination.

According to the corporation, this is the first container freight train operated by Rail Transport and Trade Joint Stock Company (Ratraco) in conjunction with transport firms from other countries providing logistics services to customers from Vietnam to the target destination.

Currently, VNR is providing freight train services between Vietnam and China and transiting to Russia, Europe, ASEAN and Central Asian countries. The firm provides full logistics services to customers.

Nguyen Hoang Thanh, deputy director-general of Ratraco, said that the successful organisation of the train from Vietnam to Belgium will open up rail transport routes going deeper into Europe, in addition to the existing ones to Germany and Poland.

"Currently, Ratraco and its European partner plan to organise eight trips per month departing from Vietnam," Thanh said, adding that the total estimated time for the entire journey is 25 to 27 days,

It is expected that the second train will depart from Yen Vien station on July 27 carrying electronic products and the third one on August 3, he said.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, international maritime transport is facing difficulties, rail service is being sought by many customers to transport goods from Vietnam to China and from there on to Europe.

With the advantage of an efficient international rail connection system and trains arriving at destination stations on time with reasonable costs, intermodal rail transport is thriving.