On May 10, 2021, the first freight train departed from Nanjing to Tilburg (Railport Brabant). The train was waved off during the launch ceremony by Vice Governor Ma Xi of Jiangsu Province and the Dutch Ambassador in China, Wim Geerts. The direct train connection is operated by GVT Group of Logistics from Tilburg, Deutsche Bahn and the provincial train company in Jiangsu, the Jiangsu International Rail Freight Express.
On Friday, June 4, we officially welcomed the first train in Tilburg, with a small delegation of involved parties (including the Brabant Development Agency, Midpoint Brabant Smart Logistics, the Municipality of Tilburg and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). The train mainly transports high-quality products in the containers, such as electronics, machine parts and clothing.
Prior to the arrival of the train, there was a welcome speech by General Manager Roland Verbraak followed by short speeches by Deputy Mayor Marcelle Hendrickx (Tilburg Municipality), Eelko Brinkhoff (Manager Foreign Investments & International Trade of the Brabant Development Agency), Marcel Tijs (Ministry of of Infrastructure and Water Management, Public Transport and Rail Directorate) and a video speech by Mr. Zhang Guosheng (Economic & Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy).
Jiangsu is a province on China’s east coast and an important center for entrepreneurs, logistics and transportation. Jiangsu is characterized by its strong economy, the presence of a great deal of high-tech knowledge and a broadly supported innovation strategy. There is therefore a clear parallel with Brabant. Since 1994, both provinces have built up a good relationship. A relationship that opens doors for companies, organizations and knowledge and educational institutions in both China and the Netherlands.
Several Brabant cities have a sister city in Jiangsu. Tilburg has maintained close ties with Changzhou since 1997. Delegations from politics and business have paid visits to China in the past and delegations also regularly come to Tilburg.
International logistics hub
Tilburg and the central Brabant region have grown into an international logistics hub in recent years due to, among other things, its location on the European freight corridor Rotterdam – Duisburg and the train connection with China. As a result, European Distribution Centers (EDC) and Regional Distribution Centers (RDC) are located in Tilburg, which mainly serve the European market.
Last May, the Tilburg-Waalwijk region was named the number 1 logistics hotspot in the Netherlands for the third year in a row, partly thanks to its good strategic location and connectivity.