Information published on 19 January 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 481.

Luxembourg/China: CFL MultiModal and Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co., Ltd sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a “dual hub strategy” in the area of rail freight

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On 5 January 2016, Luxembourg’s Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, and the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Camille Gira, visited China to attend several meetings with various political and economic decision-makers in Beijing as well as Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan Province.

Cargolux to increase its destinations in the United States and Latin America

On 5 January in Beijing, Minister François Bausch and Secretary of State Camille Gira met the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party and the CAAC (Civil Aviation Committee of China) Vice-Minister of Transport, Feng Zhenglin. The meeting focused on aviation issues, including additional air rights for Cargolux, enabling it to increase its destinations in Latin America and the United States.
Minister Bausch stressed the importance of additional air rights in the context of the creation of the new joint venture airline (Cargolux Asia) that will be finalised in 2016. The two Ministers welcomed the success of Cargolux operations to China resulting in exceeding the considerable thresholds set in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in January 2015. The Deputy Transport Minister Feng Zhenglin reiterated the will of the Chinese government to support any commercial development in this field.

“Dual hub strategy” in the area of rail freight

On 6 January in Zhengzhou, a meeting took place with the Governor of Henan Province, Xie Fuzhan, followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CFL multimodal (MM) and “Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co., Ltd.”(ZIH). The purpose of this MoU is the study of a rail connection for freight between Zhengzhou and the multimodal platform at Bettembourg in Luxembourg.

This study will define the responsibilities of both parties and the frequency of trains. The two sides will develop a business plan involving the definition of potential volumes of goods transported to and from Bettembourg. It is planned to establish this business plan and projection of services to be offered by the end of May 2016. The exploration potential of customers could be realised during the second half of 2016 and a final cooperation agreement is likely to be signed in autumn 2016. The first trains could be operational in 2017.

The aim of the operation is to establish, in collaboration with airfreight, a “dual hub strategy” in the railway sector between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Henan. The advantage of rail transport is its intermediate position between air transport that is more expensive, and shipping which takes too long for certain types of goods.

At this stage of the project CFL believes that it can transport many types of goods, including consumer goods and automotive equipment.

The interest of CFL MultiModal is therefore to strengthen its European multimodal hub position ensuring European freight distribution.

Henan Province is located in east-central China and has a population of over 100 million people with an area greater than 167,000 km2. Zhengzhou is a city of over 8 million inhabitants and the capital of Henan Province and was designated in March 2013 by the central government in Beijing as the first experimental economic zone in terms of airport economy.

The Luxembourg delegation was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, as well as from CFL and CFL Multimodal.

(Source: CFL MultiModal)