A China-Europe freight train (Wuhan) departed from Wujiashan Railway Station on schedule at 6:06 a.m. on June 20, 2020. Unlike previous ones, this train was loaded with 10,710 pieces of international mail from Hubei Postal Branch, weighing 2.75 tons. The mail, consisting largely of domestic appliances, automobile parts and ornaments, departed from Alataw Pass port, Xinjiang. It is estimated that the shipment will take 13 days to reach Malaszewicze, Poland, where the mail will be dispatched to Britain, France and Germany by Poland Post. The test, marking an essential step in opening land transport channel of international mail, is the first time for Hubei Postal Branch to use China-Europe (Hubei) trains to transport international mail.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, all international flights were suspended in Hubei, severely hampering the transportation of international mail. Affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the international air freight charges have soared and international flights to and from Wuhan cannot be fully resumed within a short period of time. In addition, the outbound international mail having to be transited via Beijing and Shanghai resulted in the overall rise in time limit and costs. Hubei Postal Branch coordinated with Wuhan Asia Europe Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. to launch a China-Europe railway mail transportation route so as to instill confidence into work resumption of cross-border e-commerce businesses in Hubei Province and promote the development of international delivery services. Hubei Postal Branch gained great support from the Customs and other departments through active coordination. Wuhan Customs, Port Office, the railway sector, Hubei Postal Branch and Wuhan Asia Europe Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. jointly established a task force for promoting the work of China-Europe railway mail transportation in April. After series of researches, an implementation plan of the outbound mail transported by the China-Europe freight train was designed with a clear specification of regulations, business process and the roles and responsibilities of each unit. The debut test train was finally scheduled to operate on June 20.
Mail transport via China-Europe freight trains have advantages of fixed time, being unaffected by weather conditions. In the meantime, it costs over 1/3 less than air freight and allows the transportation of commodities such as 3C electronic products and cosmetic products. With mail sent via China-Europe freight trains, Hubei Postal Branch opens up a new channel for transporting the outbound international mail, which will further promote the influence and competitiveness of its international delivery services.