MAERSK has announced that its Asia-Europe service is to be a permanent fixture, just over a year after its launch in August 2019.

The ‘AE19 service’ is described as a combination of a short-sea and intercontinental rail product, which connects several origins in Asia with ports in Northern Europe.

The service is based on a short-sea connection between Asian in Korea, Japan or China and the port of Nakhodka in the Russian Far East, followed by an intercontinental rail connection across Russia from Nakhodka to St. Petersburg, which takes eleven days.

The last leg of the product is another short-sea connection between St. Petersburg and ports in Finland, continental Europe, such as Gdansk (Poland), Bremerhaven (Germany) or Scandinavia.

“We are delighted that this unique product, designed for our customers in both Asia and Europe, formally becomes a weekly service and gets a permanent place in our product portfolio,” said Zsolt Katona, managing director, Eastern Europe at Maersk.

“This has been possible thanks to increased interest from our customers, who appreciate its attractive transit times and cost competitiveness.”

Maersk says AE19 is an attractive solution for customers with time-sensitive cargoes, offering them faster transit times compared with ocean-only products.