In this new webcast (Episode 4) of the 2021 series produced by the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX), Hussein Askary interviewed Ms. Huilin Shin, Editor of the specialized rail shipping publication Railfreight.cn (for English Railfreight.com) which is based in the Netherlands. The main questions discussed are:
– The historical background of the Eurasian rail freight lines, when did it start?
– How many routes are there today, and how many Chinese and European cities are connected?
– What are the main hubs on the Chinese side and European side? And the volumes of goods?
– How is the traffic coordinated among nations; customs clearance, different gauge systems, logistics?
– What is the difference in costs and time between rail freight from China to Europe and sea routes?
– Why some prefer rail and not sea routes?
– What kind of products are typical for the rail freight?
– What about the subsidies offered by the Chinese state?
– Did the COVID-19 pandemic increase or decrease the traffic?
– Did the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) enhance the traffic since 2013, or is it purely business and commercial considerations?