DB Schenker has cooperated on a test rail shipment from Zhengzhou in north central China, which arrived in Hamburg, Germany at the beginning of August. The maiden service comprised 51 containers for customers in trade and industry, which included a consignment of tyres, They covered the 10,214km route through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany in a record time of just 15 days.

The shipment was organised by Zhengzhou International Land Port Development and Construction. DB Schenker acted as a logistics partner and provided all operational and logistics services outside China.

"The growing Chinese goods traffic, together with the ongoing shift from production-intensive industries to the Chinese hinterland, offers a lot of potential,” said Dr Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the management board of Deutsche Bahn.

In the past two years, more than 300 DB Schenker freight trains have been sent to and from China. In 2011 DB Schenker established a regular weekly block train service between China and Germany mainly for the automotive and electronics industry, including shipments of BMW parts from Leipzig to the carmaker’s joint venture plant in Shenyang.

A spokesman for DB Schenker said that while no planned schedule had been established for the latest trial service all the parties involved were interested in making more out of it.