The well-known Silk Road that featured the legendary travels of Marco Polo returns to the present. It has become one of the key economical points in China’s new and ambitious plan. In this way, the Asian giant plans to use this New Silk Road as a means to connect China with Europe. This would mean the start of a serious battle between the East and the West to control Eurasia.

In this manner, one of China’s objectives is to extend its transport system, including high-speed trains, roads and highways by 12,000 kilometres. However, they will not stop at this and intend to create a sea route that will link China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. In this way, the New Silk Road would be a link between three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa) and therefore become the biggest economic corridor in the world.

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The program for this New Silk Road incorporates two fundamental initiatives: The Economical Strip of the Silk Road, which would improve land connections, and the 20th Century Maritime Silk Road, which would concentrate on sea links.

The land connections in this ambitious plan would create a faster link between China and Europe than the current routes as it would first cross the whole of China and continue through Central Asia. This network includes a railway route between Madrid and Yiwu that was presented last December and which arrived in the Dutch city of Rotterdam last June as the Rail Service Center that will connect the city with China.

The New Silk Road has not only meant a big improvement in the current international transport systems but has great economical potential. Therefore, the Chinese investment in infrastructure will motivate other countries to improve their present transport networks, mostly railway routes, as a means to encourage a commercial relationship with the Asian giant.

The first ones to benefit from the New Silk Road are the construction, transport and logistical businesses that will have to compete towards gaining the construction and functioning privileges of the new infrastructure.

This project will increase the railway niche between China and Europe and will save up time compared to the current sea routes. The prospects of saving up on time and money on long distance railway routes are very important. These would mean an increase in the sectors competitiveness.

Nowadays it is essential to improve transportation through optimization systems. The optimization systems for long-distance railway transportation like GoalRail® by Goal Systems allows to improve cost optimization as well as boost quality as a means to compete in the current market. These are systems which will become essential for the new transportation of the New Silk Road.

Micaela Gomez

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