DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight arm of the DHL Group, is introducing the "fastest" rail freight connection between China and Germany and has opened three additional Rail Competence Centers in Europe in response to growing demand for rail freight services between Europe and Asia.
In a statement, DHL said the new rail service, operating between Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany has been set up in cooperation with Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group Co. Ltd. and is cutting transit time from 17 days to between 10 and 12 days between the two capitals.
The additional local Rail Centers will be located in Le Havre, France, Felixstowe, UK and Genoa, Italy and will be staffed with China Rail Experts who advise customers and efficiently coordinate freight volumes.
“We’ve seen a substantial increase in rail freight volumes along the ‘New Silk Road’ from China to Europe and vice versa,” states Thomas Kowitzki, head of China Rail, Multimodal Europe, DHL Global Forwarding.
“Rail freight products are attractive due to their cost-effectiveness, short transit time, and lower CO2 emissions compared to other transport modes. Moreover, they require the real operational expertise that we bring to the table," he added.
Customer service through dedicated local teams
Aside from freight handling, DHL said the Rail Competence Centers will also be assigning dedicated teams to offer comprehensive customer service and help coordinate end-to-end transport processes to clients from collection and export all the way to customs clearance and delivery by truck or combined rail transport to the final destination.
Shorter transit time of 10 and 12 days
DHL said starting in Xi’an, the new rail service takes an approximate 9,400 km 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 shortens transit times for customers to other European countries e.g. Benelux, France and the UK. Traversing numerous countries, the fastest rail service between China and Germany was created with the support of China Railway, Belintertrans, RTSB Gmbh, and UTLC – Eurasian Rail Alliance," the statement said.
The fast Xi’an-Germany rail connection will offer customers real-time milestone visibility, using GPS tracking of shipments to give shippers door-to-door visibility and insight into any shipping exceptions as soon as they occur.