China-Europe rail services a real success story as exports rocket

China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) may have faced recent strong criticism from the EU, but that has not dented the growth in its exports to Europe.

Chinese officials have claimed a 106% increase in the value of cargo travelling by rail from China to Europe, equating to some $33bn.

Xiao Weiming, from the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, told Xinhua that 14,691 trips have been made by China-Europe freight trains since 2011.

Operator United Transport And Logistics Company Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) recorded a 54% (62,622 TEU) upturn in volumes between China and Europe.

While the bulk is exports from China (35,536 TEU, up 69%), imports from Europe have been closing the gap, recording a 44% increase to more than 27,000 TEU in Q1.

The Russian-Kazakh-Belarussian-owned UTLC ERA has furthered its links between the two regions, having announced cooperation agreements with two European partners.

President of UTLC ERA Alexey Grom said: “I am perfectly confident the agreements signed with our partners will contribute to the active growth of the transit transportation market, enabling UTLC ERA to strengthen its leading positions in cargo shipments on Europe-China-Europe routes.”

During this month’s TransRussia exposition the operator entered an agreement with Slovakia’s public rail company, ZSSK Cargo, to facilitate IT collaboration on container shipments from China, to include route scheduling and an analysis of potential customer bases between Slovakia and China.

“This is the first time we have fixed in writing the intention to build a direct transit transportation technology process,” said Mr Grom. “We will be solely responsible for the 1520 gauge, whereas ZSSK Cargo will be in charge of the 1435 gauge.

“That is how we will be able to offer our customers the end product – a comprehensive shipping service solution.”

We are pleased to advise you that,  through our network of independent agents in China, and in addition to our ocean and air services,  FSEW is also offering a regular container service by rail from China to the UK. 

Current frequency is weekly and recent examples of transit times are achieving 25 to 28 days door/door.

If you would like to learn more about this service, please feel free to contact the undersigned or your appointed customer service representative.

Article courtesy of The Loadstar

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UK box port congestion could worsen during Q4 peak

Two-week delays already apparent ahead of the pre-Christmas peak import season as Southampton and Felixstowe struggle to clear backlogs

UK shippers and forwarders face a difficult fourth quarter if congestion at Felixstowe and Southampton container terminals continues, according a growing number of freight forwarders.

Although Southampton reported that congestion was easing last week, forwarders are telling, told Lloyd’s Loading List that backlogs were still significant at both ports and volumes would soon spike.

“Whilst we aren’t suffering the worst waiting times, we still are feeling the consequences and are needing to adjust our processes carefully,” said one.

“It’s very testing. We are already up to a two-week delay on bookings. We are likely to see an increase in container arrivals come the end of October through to mid-December for the pre-Christmas peak.

“Perhaps a slow period between Christmas and early January may be the answer to balancing demand again before Chinese New Year. But, if not, then I guess this could be a long road until the CNY closedown.”

Congestion stemmed from IT failure at Felixstowe earlier this year. This resulted in containers arriving at terminals in surges, or being diverted to alternative ports.

As volumes were switched to Southampton, congestion there also began to build.

“The IT problem affected hauliers getting in to port,” the forwarder said. “After what was thought to be a small blip, it continued for weeks and various importers made a drastic decision to switch the port of entry to Southampton. “Imagine even a 10% increase overnight and the strain on trucking that would be caused. The influx of extra containers has simply put booking times back to around 14 days.”

Asked why more boxes were not being diverted to London Gateway, the forwarder said its liner service roster was different to those of Felixstowe and Southampton. “Why would anyone opt for a slower service? Time is money,” he added.

Remember

In addition to FSEW being a leading independent international freight forwarder, with multiple carrier/service options, we also have at our disposal the resources of our container haulage division, with our own trucks, trailers and drivers under our direct control.  We also have a large block booking on the daily rail service from Southampton into the Freightliner deport at Cardiff, which is adjacent to our yard and office and from where we can arrange prompt onward delivery by road.  This provides our customers with more options, flexibility, reliability and overall better control of your container deliveries and associated costs, which significantly mitigates some of the issues adversely affecting the general marketplace.

A recent example of our capacity and capability was having the resources to run one of our own vehicles empty to London Gateway to collect a diverted container that was urgently required by one of our customers.

Result: our customer received urgent stock 14 days prior to shipping line’s earliest available delivery date and also avoided incurring significant demurrage costs.

If you would like to know more or discuss your business requirements in more detail, please feel free to contact me or speak directly to your designated account manager.

We value your business and assure you of our best attention and service at all times.

 

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