A new freight rail route connecting Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province with Barking in London has been launched by China Railway.
The route, which has been dubbed the New Silk Route by the Chinese government, will take around 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles carrying a cargo of clothes, bags and other household items.
China Railway already runs services between China and other European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg. The rail line has the advantage of being cheaper than air freight and faster than sea.
London will become the 15th European city to join the route connecting Europe with the East passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.
Because of the different railway gauges involved, a single train cannot travel the whole route and the containers need to be reloaded at various points.