At a rail freight terminal in Zhengzhou, stacked with containers, Pei Changming, a staffer with a Tianjin based steel company is checking their products which have been imported from Germany along China-Europe freight line.
Despite having their operations near the sea port in Tianjin, Pei Changming says his company still prefers to use Zhengzhou to export and import their products.
"We have been using rail freight transportation for the past two or three years. The cost of railway is lower than air transport. It's also a lot quicker than ocean transport, which can take as long as two months. When we ship out of Zhengzhou, the rail line gets our products to Europe in four weeks, which is half of the time by sea."
The first freight train connecting Zhengzhou with the German city of Hamburg was launched in 2013.
Four years on, 14 trains are either leaving or arriving in Zhengzhou every week, linking Henan's capital with 121 cities in 24 different countries along the route.
The China-Europe freight rail service in and out of Zhengzhou is fully loaded both ways.
This creates unique challenges for the Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Corporation, which operates the rail line.
Shi Wensong is the vice-General Manager of the company.
"If you watch the clock, 10:40, 10:37, 10:36, we keep shipping almost nonstop. Every day we have around 300 orders to deliver. Originally it was only around 100 orders per month. Most of the products are destined for Europe, mostly to Germany, Poland, Italy and France. The freight usually includes high level electric machines, IT equipment, food and other items. The train also comes loaded on its return trip."
While rail has helped develop Zhengzhou as a gateway to Europe, it's not the only option.
In 2014, an air freight service began operating between Zhengzhou and Luxembourg.
Dairy products, organic food and other luxury items from Europe are now readily available in central China thanks to the "Silk Road" in the air.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel says he's happy he staked his leadership on links with Zhengzhou.
"So this is my first work. First work since I worked as Prime Minister. I'm very happy I took the right decision because it was planned that we have four flights a week now we have fifteen."
E-commerce is also creating more opportunities for Zhengzhou.
As one of the first 15 cities to trial transnational e-commerce in China, Zhengzhou processed around 30 million online import and export orders in the first half of this year, topping even Shenzhen.
Chinese authorities have laid out plans to turn Zhengzhou into a leading international commerce hub by 2049.
The city is also rapidly becoming a leader in domestic logistics.
1. prefer to do sth. 更喜欢；偏好；
例句：I still prefer to play in defence.
2. thanks to 幸亏；归因于；
例句：Thanks to the angle at which he stood, he could just see the sunset.
3. stake on 将…押(在…)；以…打赌；拿…冒险；
例句：He has staked his reputation on the outcome.
4. turn into (使)变成；(使)成为；
例句：We think he'll turn into a top-class player.