TIANJIN, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- A freight train departed a pilot economic zone in the northern coastal city of Tianjin for the first time Monday morning.
Loaded with 104 containers of construction materials, it is the first China-Europe freight train to leave the Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), and is set to arrive in Minsk, capital of Belarus, around December 4.
The train will leave China via Erlianhaote Customs in northern China's Inner Mongolia and head to the China-Belarus Industrial Park in Minsk, according to the administrative committee for Tianjin Dongjiang Port Area. The return trip will carry goods to China, including wood products from Belarus and surrounding countries.
Scheduled to operate 20 times per year, the Tianjin-Minsk freight train will carry an annual total of 30,000 tonnes of goods, the committee said.
As the new China-Europe freight train service opens, the Dongjiang Port Area will play an important role in linking the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with the Silk Road Economic Belt, the committee said.
The freight service is set to expand to more European cities in the future.