There are good opportunities to transport food and flowers by train from The Netherlands to China, says LEI researcher Xiaoyong Zhang in Resource, the newsmagazine of Wageningen UR. On 28 October, she presented the results of her research to a delegation that is visiting China for a week, including the mayor of Rotterdam and the director of the Rotterdam Harbour. King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands also received the report that Zhang published in collaboration with Rabobank.
Five times as cheap and less polluting
In December 2014 Zhang attended the opening ceremony of YuXinOu railway from Rotterdam to Chongqing, China. There she heard that goods are transported by train from China to Rotterdam in merely thirteen days. That is longer than flying, of course, but also five times as cheap. Not to mention much less polluting. Compared to transportation by ship it is much faster – 30 to 40 days – and only 1.5 times as expensive. Sounds good, Zhang thought. So what are you transporting the other way around, from The Netherlands to China, she asked at that meeting? She was told that the trains often return mostly empty. This triggered Zhang to find out whether the Dutch agrifood sector could make use of the railway.
Read more about the agrifood-train in Resource-online