The inaugural trip was arranged by Zhengzhou International Land Port Development and Construction Company with the cooperation of DB Schenker. The 51 containers were transferred to 1520mm-gauge wagons at Alashankou on the China-Kazakhstan border, continuing through Russia before being transhipped back to standard-gauge wagons at the Belarusian – Polish frontier.

A return service is due to depart from Billwerder on August 14, and DB Schenker hopes to begin operating a regular weekly block train on the route by the end of the year.

DB Schenker says that it has been involved in the operation of more than 300 trains between Germany and China over the last three years. Regular weekly block services already run from Chongqing to Duisburg and from Leipzig to Shenyang, which serve customers in the electronics and automotive industries. These trains run on a more northerly route via the Trans-Siberian Railway.