A slew of stories have emerged about new rail connectivity between Europe and China demonstrate that the latter’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative is becoming an economic reality. Now, Kerry Logistics is making the initiative tangible on the Western end, too, as the first eastbound freight train is poised to begin chugging away from London to Yiwu, in central Zhejiang province, China. The new link also reinforces Kerry’s expansion into the railfreight and multimodal services.
The train, departing from London on May 10, is scheduled to reach its destination in around 18 days. The 7,500-mile route will pass through nine countries, including France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
Kerry said that the freight cost is lower than both air and ocean freight, and twice as fast as ocean transport.
The rail link from Yiwu to London launched on Jan. 1, 2017 and took 18 days to complete. Since then, it has carried clothes, shoes and other consumer goods made in China.
Davies Turner, a U.K.-based freight forwarding company that introduced fixed-day, weekly rail service for less-that-containerload (LCL) cargo to the U.K. from the Chinese rail terminals of Wuhan and Hefei, reported strong demand for the service.
Philip Stephenson, chairman of Davies Turner, explained that “the big selling point is that the cost is around 70 percent less than shipping the cargo by air and 16 days quicker than getting it to destination by sea.”
William Ma, group managing director of Kerry Logistics, said that Kerry will be the first Asia-based global 3PL to move eastbound freight from Europe along the One Belt, One Road trade route. He added that the company would “leverage our global international freight forwarding network to provide end-to-end and cost-effective logistics solutions to connect China with Europe and Asia via air, road, rail and sea.”
Those interested in learning more about airfreight in 2017, should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April. To register, or for more information, go to CargoFactsAsia.com