Responding to increased demand for better rail freight services between Europe and Asia, DHL Global Forwarding is also introducing what it said is the fastest rail freight connection between China and Germany.
DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist of DHL Group, has also opened three additional Rail Competence Centers in Europe. Located in Le Havre, France, Felixstowe, U.K., and Genoa, Italy, the local rail centers are staffed with China rail experts who advise customers and coordinate freight volumes.
The new rail service, operating between Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany, was established in cooperation with Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group Co. and is cutting transit time to as little as 10 days to 12 days, down from 17 days.
“We’ve seen a substantial increase in rail freight volumes along the ‘New Silk Road’ from China to Europe and vice versa,” Thomas Kowitzki, head of China Rail, Multimodal Europe, at DHL Global Forwarding, said. “Rail freight products are attractive due to their cost-effectiveness, short transit time and lower CO2 emissions compared to other transport modes.”
Kowitzki said with DHL’s growing number of dedicated Country Rail Competence Centers and cutting-edge rail services, the company is now offering the right portfolio of transport expertise and solutions for its customers growing their business between Europe and Asia.
The Rail Competence Centers coordinate high volumes of exports and imports, including less-than-container-load (LCL) DHL RailConnect and full-container-load (FCL) DHL RailLine products. They coordinate end-to-end transport processes from collection and export to customs clearance and delivery by truck or combined rail transport to the final destination.
Following four Regional Rail Competence Centers in China and a European DHL Rail Competence Center in Poland, the first dedicated Country DHL Rail Competence Center was opened in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2017.
Starting in Xi’an, at the heart of the New Silk Road economic belt, the new rail service takes an approximate 9,400-kilometer route through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania to Kaliningrad Oblast, a part of the Russian Federation on the south coast of the Baltic Sea, before entering the European Union via the Mamonovo-Braniewo crossing. The final stretch of the route crosses Poland into Germany to the port city of Hamburg, and to Neuss, an important logistics hub on the Rhine River opposite Düsseldorf.
This route shortens transit times for customers to other European countries such as the Benelux countries, France and the U.K. The new rail service between China and Germany was created with the support of China Railway, Belintertrans, RTSB Gmbh and UTLC-Eurasian Rail Alliance.
The Xi’an-Germany rail connection will offer customers real-time milestone visibility using GPS tracking of shipments via the iSee software platform to give shippers door-to-door visibility and insight into any shipping exceptions as soon as they occur.