DHL Global Forwarding and Xi’an International Inland Port have announced a new fast rail service from Xi’an in China to Hamburg and Neuss in Germany.
The new service is said to cut the transit time from 17 days to between 10 and 12 days.
The new express rail service is said to be the “first-of-its-kind in the market”, shortening total transit time by travelling through the Mamonovo-Braniewo railway border between Russia and Poland.
DHL Global Forwarding China Steve Huang said the announcement was significant.
“Xi’an is at the heart of the New Silk Road economic belt, taking on the same important role as it once did during the ancient route of Marco Polo’s era,” Mr Huang said.
“By boosting greater agility whilst offering the express rail service at reasonable costs, DHL Global Forwarding seeks to connect these fast-evolving industries to rising demand and market opportunities in Europe.”
China is the European Union’s second biggest trading partner, accounting for the region’s biggest source of imports and its second-biggest source of exports.
Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group general manager, Qu Jinwei, said they had worked closely with DHL during the past four months to test and start this express line.
“Both teams have showed a tremendously high degree of enthusiasm and professionalism,” Mr Jinwei said.
“As next steps, we will strive to make this express rail freight a success. Using the development model of ‘hub and industry integration’, we will leverage this service to strengthen the collaboration between the region’s manufacturing and trading sectors with international logistics.”
The new rail service takes a 9400km 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.