The new route links Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, with Russia's fourth largest city Ekaterinburg, said sources with Harbin Commerce Bureau.
Saturday's train transported 1.46 million U.S. dollars worth of bicycle parts and light industrial products, mostly from southern China. It will complete the 5,889-kilometer-journey in 10 days.
Before the route was launched, cargo from southern China to Russia was always transported via Dalian Port in the northeastern Liaoning Province for ocean shipping. "A shipment took 40 days on average and was quite expensive, too," said Meng Qingwen, general manager of a logistics company that provides freight services between Harbin and Europe.
Freight trains linking Harbin and Europe have carried more than 1,300 containers since the service began in June 2015, reaching the German city of Hamburg via Russia and Poland. These trains have so far transported 87 million U.S. dollars worth of goods.