A committee to coordinate the development of freight rail services between China and Europe has been set up in Beijing. The initiative is being led by the China Railway Corporation and comes as the southern hub of Shenzhen becomes the 29th Chinese city to launch a Europe-bound multimodal service.
China railfreight route to Europe
Belt and Road
The Belarus-bound service marks the latest development of the ‘Belt and Road’ network, also known as One Belt, One Road, and is being operated by DHL Global Forwarding with both LCL and FCL services offered to customers.
The 12-day journey covers new overland connections to major cities along the Belt and Road route, and is the latest in DHL’s Asia-Europe multimodal network. DHL is managing the route with manufacturer China Brilliant, and together they are transporting electronics, industrial and car parts and even fresh food between the two continents.
Steve Huang, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Greater China, said: “Eastern Europe’s economies are growing faster than almost any others worldwide, with significant export opportunities arising from the region’s rising wages and disposable income levels. Minsk offers Chinese businesses an efficient gateway into the Baltic states and Nordic countries, in addition to other major European destinations like Warsaw, Hamburg and Tilburg via Brest.”
The new service follows the Alashankou-Dostyk route, passing into Kazakhstan via the Central Corridor, before joining the Northern Corridor and travelling along the Trans-Siberian Railway through Russia and onto Belarus.
This is one of the most popular Europe-bound routes used by several other multimodal operators. DHL Global Forwarding’s service provides real-time GPS tracking and fully-managed customs clearance for the entire journey.
“With Shenzhen’s economy exceeding expectations to grow by nine per cent last year, the route also opens sizeable opportunities for European exporters looking to sell to one of China’s most vibrant trade and business hubs, or use it as an important gateway to Southeast Asia and the rest of the Chinese consumer market,” said Steve Huang.
“Our newest route further supports strategic infrastructure projects designed especially to support the Belt and Road, such as the Great Stone Industrial Park – the largest joint project between China and Belarus that will span decades, strengthens bilateral ties between the two countries, and also lays the groundwork for further rail connectivity to the Nordic and Middle Eastern states involved in the Belt and Road,” he added.
Zang Chunhua, Founder of the China Brilliant Group, said the growth in trade between China and Belarus showed ‘no signs of slowing down’ and the partnership with DHL would enable further streamlining of operations between the two countries:
“The partnerships that DHL has with governments and businesses globally, coupled with our market strength in Shenzhen-based supply chains, have come together to create a solution that directly meets the needs of China’s expansion-hungry manufacturers and producers,” added Chunhua.
Through the various routes now available, China now op…
Digital learning route developed for DB Cargo UK drivers
Drivers at DB Cargo UK can now benefit from a digital learning tool, created with a specialist camera used to film rail routes across the country and create an online route programme. Accessible via tablet or computer, it runs high quality footage of the route alongside a moving map, whilst advising on other areas including speed and signals.
Rail freight drivers are traditionally provided with a route that they learn in an allotted period of time by physically travelling over it. Using streamed media offers several advantages as it enables drivers to review the route multiple times, and go back or move forward through the footage to review certain sections again.
Digital learning also reduces the number of trains on the busy UK rail network, as additional journeys do not need to be undertaken for route learning, thus reducing costs. This also allows faster mobilisation for geographic or seasonal spikes in workload, making the rail industry more competitive with other modes of transport.
Andrew Byrne, Head of Resources at DB Cargo UK, said: “This has opened up huge potential for us and for the whole rail industry as it provides a more efficient and effective method for route learning and retention of route knowledge. We have had very positive feedback from our drivers and other industry stakeholders about the programme.We have filmed around 40 per cent of the UK rail network, covering a substantial n…