New Wuhan-Dourges rail link for Décathlon
From Wuhan to Dourges
On October 28, 2017, a 41-container freight train left Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province—no ordinary occurrence, since its destination was 11,000 km away in Hauts-de-France. On board were electrical products and sportswear for delivery to Décathlon, a French sporting goods retailer, in Dourges. And its long journey marked the launch of a new freight line linking China to Europe.
Though the train will cross Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, it will reach France in just 16-18 days, compared with 20 days by boat—a significant reduction in travel time and pollution. And from now on the Décathlon warehouse in Dourges will receive weekly deliveries from Wuhan.
Belt and Road: the new Silk Road
The Wuhan-Dourges rail link is part of the One Belt, One Road initiative spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping. A precursor to the Asian giant’s new Silk Road project, this calls for the construction of huge infrastructure chains to link China to the rest of the world, boosting trade and improving connectivity between China and Africa, Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, as well as South and Southeast Asia.