27 November 2017
An exceptional journey through the Silk Road
The block train left Wuhan, China, on 3rd November 2017, transporting the containers through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. The United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC), a consortium of railway companies, provided services on the * mm railway section between Dostyk (Kazakhstan) and Brest (Belarus).
The block train continued its journey through Poland and Germany before arriving to Dourges Terminal in France on 22nd November 2017. After clearance, the shipment was distributed directly to the plant of Française de Mécanique, a PSA subsidiary, in Douvrin, North of France.
After a journey through seven countries along the Silk Road trade corridor, at an average pace of around 600km per day, the train, charged with 40ft containers, arrived to destination within less than 3 weeks.
GEFCO managed and coordinated the project, with the railway partners in the different countries, together with the teams of GEFCO Forwarding based in Shanghai, Moscow and Paris.
This first full container loaded train is part of the One-Belt-One-Road initiative introduced by the Chinese government to take advantage of the new Silk Road itinerary linking China to Europe. The link to France established with this shipment is an important improvement to better position France on the new Silk Road and bring shippers and consignees closer, as most routes of the new Silk Road had, until now, final destinations in Germany and Poland.
GEFCO focuses on the new Silk Road
While China is investing massively to develop and promote rail transport between Asia and Europe, GEFCO continues to develop its rail services to meet the customers growing needs for flexible solutions in the area.
Rail freight is complementary of air and ocean freight, as it has competitive advantages both for economic and ecological reasons for time critical goods, such as automotive parts, electronics products coming from China, and in reverse flow, consumer goods, reefer services, and spare parts for Chinese aftersales market. Customers transport time is reduced by half compared to the ocean freight. Compared to airfreight, rail is much lower in price and produces less pollution to the environment.
GEFCO manages a monthly average volume of 300 TEU * * transported by rail in both directions
“With over 65 years’ experience in logistics, GEFCO has been operating rail shipments from Asia to Europe for over 4 years. The Group has been supporting the growing trade between the two continents as well as container deliveries by rail, continuously looking for new cost effective, flexible, reliable and secure solutions to meet customers’ requirements and support their business development” said Anthony Gunn, Executive Vice President of GEFCO Freight Forwarding.
GEFCO has been present in China since 1995, with more than 2,000 employees, 10 offices and partners covering almost all the region. The Group is also present in Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea.
GEFCO is continuously looking for new and competitive solutions to meet customer requirements and support their business development between Asia and Europe. The company has been providing different services from FCL (Full Container Load) to (Less than Container Load), the transport of finished vehicles, all tailored for the customers’ products: vehicles, retail, Life Science, etc. with the support of operational and experienced teams.
* zone refers to the width of the standard railway track in Russia. This zone includes CIS countries, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Baltic countries, Mongolia and Finland. ** TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) is a unit of cargo capacity used to describe the capacity of a 20-foot-long (6.1 m) intermodal container.
Short transit time
impacts stock level and cash flow
Most sustainable transport mode
impacted by fuel price evolution