DB Schenker said its new daily rail container service between Germany and China, starting in late November, will more than halve the transit time of sea transport.
A trial run by a train loaded with 40 containers of BMW auto parts will arrive shortly at the German car company’s assembly plant in Shenyang in north-eastern China after a three-week journey from Leipzig.
DB Schenker, the logistics arm of Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, Europe’s largest rail freight company, has already run three trial services to China on behalf of BMW.
The new daily service will use Russia’s trans-Siberian railroad for the bulk of the 6,875 miles journey after transiting Poland and Belarus.
“With a transit time of 23 days, the direct trains are more than twice as fast as maritime transport followed by transport to the Chinese hinterland,” said Karl-Friedrich Rausch, a member of the board of DB Mobility Logistics. The BMW contract is “a major incentive for the Eurasian Land Bridge.”
The containers have to be transferred by cranes to different rail gauges twice – first to Russian broad gauge at the Polish-Belarusian border and then back to standard gauge at the Russian-Chinese border in Manzhouli.
DB Schenker Logistics is hiring 600 employees at a new center in Leipzig, which will package and load roughly 8,000 different components into 50 containers that will leave for China daily. The containers are transported from the center to a nearby transshipment terminal by truck. DB Schenker is one of the world’s biggest automotive logistics companies, transporting around three million vehicles by train in 2010.
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