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Eastbound Euro-China rail freight on the increase, rivals air cargo

EASTBOUND Silk Road rail freight increased 44 per cent in May as forwarders capitalised on 'heavy' demand with new block-train services from Germany to China, reports London's Loadstar

21 July 2020 - 19:00

EASTBOUND Silk Road rail freight increased 44 per cent in May as forwarders capitalised on 'heavy' demand with new block-train services from Germany to China, reports London's Loadstar.

Eastbound backhaul volumes reached 43,000 TEU for the month, with the number of trains departing up 39 per cent to 477, according to the China State Railway Group.



DHL Global Forwarding also announced that it was launching two new block-trains to meet 'heavy customer demand for alternative transport modes and speeding up transit times to Asia'.



The operator recently added another service, from Ludwigshafen to Xian, via Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan.



Said DHL Chinarail chief Thomas Kowitzki: 'The block-trains are loaded with goods from all over Europe and transported over 9,400 kilometres to the central hub for train services in Xian, where DHL distributes the cargo within China and to neighbouring countries like South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.'



Last month, DHL told Loadstar that eastbound volumes were increasing, due in part to Asia's relatively quick recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.



'Factories are back in operation and are often under pressure to receive materials or components from European providers,' said DHL China's value-added chief Zafer Engin.



'China has a big consumer market, with a demand for high-quality products from overseas. For example, we are receiving inquiries to move mineral water from Italy,' he said.



Los Angeles-based automotive logistics specialist CFR Rinkens has been using Europe-China block-trains for finished vehicles, operating a bi-directional service between Bremerhaven and Chongqing, with a transit time of 18 days.


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