New Delhi, Delhi, India
Since past three years, Chinese government has been investing tens of billions on improving the Eurasian rail connections and facilities. Rotterdam is the major port city of Netherland and is actively involved in rail transport. With the manufacturing industries booming, a number of companies—small, medium, and big alike have now become interested in considering the option of tackling issues posed by air and sea transport. One such company is Rotterdam-based transport firm G&D Europe, established in 2010 by Jan-Paul Vegt and his business partner Yonggao Liu. Eurasian rail transport seems to be an attractive & convenient transport option for Vegt and Liu.
The video features John Paul Vegt and Liu yong Gao—founders of G&D Europ – citing transportation as their major logistical problem. They say that air transport is too costly and sea freight had once caused them a two-month delay. These challenges have pushed them to consider rail transport.
G&D’s story might inspire other startups to consider this option for cross-border and cross-cultural cooperation.
The city of Rotterdam already has the biggest port of Europe and is now on its way to become the final destiny of the OBOR (One Belt One Road) line. An IGC report published in 2010 indicated that regions closer to transport networks exhibited higher GDP per capita levels, higher income inequality, and a higher number of industries. The report concluded that transport infrastructure, among other factors, contributes to the growth in GDP.
According to Rien Gulden, entrepreneurs like Vegt and Liu can inspire big companies to do the same—step into the train, instead of the plane.
The link’s role in trade
For G&D exports, Duisburg would be the second best option to transport their goods. The trucks will have to bring the containers from 150 kilometers far away to Duisburg and reload them there for the train to China. Entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry are really hopeful that this railway line will make business more practical.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Ricoh Europe are already using the railway link to carry goods between China and Europe. The Transport Manager at Ricoh, Mia Craeghs hails the link as more affordable, fast and instrumental in effective planning. The potential benefits of the link are now known to India too.
The Global Perspective
The interest in using rail transport is not just limited to Netherlands. China is now looking to expand its railway network to India for improving business connectivity. The railway link has had a significant impact on China’s business ties with Nepal.
The two countries are already discussing a cross-border railroad link that will run from Rasuwagadhi of Nepal and would enter India through Bihar. This can ultimately add up to the GDP of both the countries. A number of Eurasian companies including Ricoh Europe are looking forward to tap the potential of this new and promising railway line.