The number of cargo trains between Zhengzhou, a transport hub in central China’s Henan Province, and Europe almost doubled in the first half of this year, Zhengzhou Customs said Friday.

Zhengzhou Customs supervised the operation of 539 China-Europe cargo trains in the first six months, up 90.5 percent from a year ago. Together they carried 230,000 tonnes of goods worth 10.8 billion yuan (1.57 billion U.S. dollars), an increase of 57.9 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively.

Zhengzhou launched a new train service for cross-border e-commerce in February and goods worth over 30 million yuan had been transported as of June.

The China-Europe freight train service, a significant part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, was launched in 2011 and has grown rapidly.

Zhengzhou, which launched the first such service in July 2013, has become an international transport hub with regular freight train services to over 100 cities in Europe and Central Asia.

Local Customs authorities has optimised clearance procedures and published a series of preferential tax policies to facilitate the service over the past years.