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Suez Canal's woes are U-Freight's gain

THE recent problems in the Suez Canal have made the transport of freight by rail from China into Europe look all the more attractive, according to the CEO of Hong Kong-based U-Freight Group, Simon Wong

04 May 2021 - 19:00
THE recent problems in the Suez Canal have made the transport of freight by rail from China into Europe look all the more attractive, according to the CEO of Hong Kong-based U-Freight Group, Simon Wong.

'Clearly supply chain planners are reappraising what was once a completely dominant Suez Canal route from China into Europe, with intermodal rail continuing a sharp upward trajectory in 2021, following on from a strong 2020.



'Although the first China-Europe container freight train was in 2011, it has taken a decade and considerable investment by China's government to see the route become an established part of logistics networks.



'The COVID pandemic, and the capacity problems in the air and ocean sectors have pushed the route to much heavier usage, with the recent blockage of the Suez Canal leading to additional traffic,' Mr Wong added.



U-Freight started its regular service in 2014, consolidating cargo in Zhengzhou and using the daily service that operates from that railhead to and from Malaszewicze in Poland, Hamburg in Germany, and Liege in Belgium.



Last year, it added a second consolidation centre at its logistics hub in Shanghai.



'We now handle significant consol shipments from China to Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands in particular, as well as smaller volumes to other European countries.



'While other transport modes still face significant capacity and schedule issues, our overland rail freight service is clearly demonstrating that it offers a competitive alternative to air freight in regards to price, and considerably faster transit times compared to the ocean freight alternative,' said Mr Wong.



Typical transit times from Zhengzhou to Malaszewicze are between 12 to 14 days, and 16-18 days to Hamburg.


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