In the new crown pneumonia epidemic, global shipping companies have demonstrated extraordinary resilience and responsibility. Especially when global air transportation capacity has shrunk significantly, railway trains have become a stable and cheaper option and quickly become popular. Since mid-April, the Universal Postal Union has published 4 times on its official website about the outstanding performance of China-Europe Express in the epidemic. And delivery companies, merchants, and consumers have really felt the benefits brought by rail transportation.
Recently, the Theloadstar website published an article 'China-Europe Express Train Starts a New Trend' and pointed out that the rapid growth of railway services between China and Europe, with its reliable, fast and price advantage, has won the market environment of shortage of container shipping and high air freight.
Patrick Merkel, general manager of Prologue Solutions, a fourth-party logistics company, said that the railway freight trains on the New Silk Road are very popular, and freight forwarder
s recommend that customers lock in train capacity two weeks in advance.
In April this year, the cargo volume of United Transportation Logistics-Eurasian Railway Union Joint Stock Company doubled year-on-year, setting a new record in a single month. The company's CEO Alexey Grom said that for railway logistics, the epidemic is a challenge and an opportunity. For many companies, railway freight
is no longer just a supplementary form of transportation, but a fast, reliable and stable main freight mode.
According to reports, the railway freight train between China and Hamburg, Germany currently takes 18 days, while sea freight takes 32 days or more. Although the demand for rail freight has increased, the price is relatively stable, and the average freight is half cheaper than air freight. In May, the German-Chinese railway freight volume on the New Silk Road increased by 44%.
In May, the Russian RZD logistics company
began a test to transport materials from Europe to China through Russia’s Zabaikalsk station. RZD general manager Dmitry Murev said that he is grateful for the technical support of Russian Railways and other digital platforms. The opening of this postal route is a supplement to the southern transit train that only passed through the Kazakhstan train, and also provides opportunities for northern customers.
On June 4, the first special train for anti-epidemic supplies from Nanchang, Jiangxi to Paris, France departed smoothly. This is a cooperation between COSCO SHIPPING and FORWARDIS, a logistics company under the French railway SNCF. The special train is scheduled to arrive in Paris in 20 days. Agence France-Presse also specifically reported the news, saying that a large number of anti-epidemic materials will be shipped directly from Nanchang to Paris. The train is loaded with 20 million masks, 55 million pairs of gloves, 1.3 million water-soluble bags, and touch-free disinfectant machines. The total value is about 10 million euros. This is also the first train from Nanchang to Europe, and it is the first train from China to Paris, France in the “Belt and Road” China-Europe train.
DHL Global Cargo said recently that it will issue two more railway trains to meet the needs of the Asian market. At the end of May, the company added a train departing from Ludwigshafen, the second largest port on the Rhine in Germany, via Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan to Xi'an, China. It is reported that this train is carrying goods from Europe, spanning 9,400 kilometers, and the time to reach China will be shortened to 12 days. Upon arrival, DHL will be responsible for freight within China and dispatch to neighboring countries South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The company said that the strong demand for eastbound trains is partly due to the rapid turnaround of the epidemic prevention and control situation in Asia and the gradual recovery of the economy.
Zafer Engin, head of value-added services for DHL Global Cargo China, said that the Chinese factories have been running at full capacity to step up processing of raw materials and parts provided by European suppliers. He said that China's consumer market is huge and requires high-quality products. DHL even received an order to transport mineral water from Italy to China.
CFR Rinkens, an automobile logistics company based in Los Angeles, USA, has also been using China-Europe Express to transport finished vehicles in both directions between Bremerhaven, Germany and Chongqing. The transportation time is 18 days. CFR stated that the reason why the two cities are designated is because they are the main hubs for railway container transportation on the New Silk Road.
In Bremerhaven, CFR will also provide container transportation services for a number of German foundries through China-Europe Express. The auto companies with which it cooperates include Volvo, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen, Audi, etc. CFR also represents Indimo Automobile Company in importing cars from China to Germany. Uwe Jablonski, CEO of Indimo, praised the China-Europe freight train, “The shortened transit time between China-Europe freight trains is good for the company’s cash flow and allows vehicles to be launched as soon as possible. It is expected that as the new Silk Road trade increases, it will go west. The cost of railway freight will be lower.”