YINCHUAN, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- On Wednesday, a cargo train filled with machinery, auto parts and porcelain left Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, for Teheran, Iran.
The first international cargo train of this inland region was launched last year. The trains carried more than 50 types of commodities, including steel, chemicals and daily necessities from around China, in addition to local tires, porcelain and agricultural products in Ningxia.
At present, 33 cities in China have international cargo trains linking them with 33 cities in 12 European countries.
"A total of 5,093 China-Europe trains have departed since 2011, important logistics along the Belt and Road," Zhong Cheng, deputy general manager of China Railway Container Transport Corp. Ltd, said Wednesday.
The trains have become a favorable way of transportation for many businessmen.
"In the past, we had to ship our auto parts to the Czech Republic by sea, which took about 40 days," said Wan Jun of an auto part making company based in Shandong. "But with the trains, we have slashed the time by half at very little rise of cost."
As the Belt and Road Initiative gains steam, the trains will play an increasingly important part in meeting the rising need for logistics, said Wang Xuanqing of the Ministry of Commerce.