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GEFCO first full block train on the new Silk Road

GEFCO first full block train on the new Silk Road

The GEFCO Group, a global player in industrial logistics and the European leader in automotive logistics, has welcomed its first full container loaded train to France direct from China after a 11,000-km journey. The train transported 40ft containers from Wuhan, China, to Dourges, North of France, for its client PSA in less than three weeks.

The block train left Wuhan, China, on 3 November 2017, transporting the containers through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. The United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC), a consortium of railway companies, provided services on the 1520* mm railway section between Dostyk (Kazakhstan) and Brest (Belarus).

The block train continued its journey through Poland and Germany before arriving to Dourges Terminal in France on 22nd November 2017. After clearance, the shipment was distributed directly to the plant of Française de Mécanique, a PSA subsidiary, in Douvrin, North of France.

On the Silk Road trail. Credit: Sebastien Joly

After a journey through seven countries along the Silk Road trade corridor, at an average speed of 600km per day, the train, charged with 40ft containers, arrived at its destination in under than three weeks.

GEFCO managed and coordinated this project with its railway partners in the different countries, together with the GEFCO Forwarding teams based in Shanghai, Moscow and Paris.

This first full container loaded train is part of the One-Belt-One-Road initiative introduced by the Chinese Government, to take advantage of the new Silk Road itinerary linking China to Europe.

The link to France established with this shipment is an important development to better position France on the new Silk Road, and bring shippers and consignees closer, as most routes of the new Silk Road had previously completed their journeys in Germany and Poland.

While China is investing significantly to develop and promote rail transport between Asia and Europe, GEFCO continues to develop its rail services to meet the customers growing needs for flexible solutions in the area.

Rail freight is complementary of air and ocean freight, as it has competitive advantages (both for economic and ecological reasons) for time critical goods from China, including automotive parts and electronics products. In reverse flow, consumer goods, reefer services, and spare parts for the Chinese aftersales market. Customers’ transport time is reduced by half compared to ocean freight. Compared to airfreight, rail is significantly lower in price and produces less pollution.

GEFCO manages a monthly average volume of 300 TEU ** transported by rail in both directions

Anthony Gunn, Executive Vice President of GEFCO Freight Forwarding said: “With over 65 years’ experience in logistics, GEFCO has been operating rail shipments from Asia to Europe for over 4 years. The Group has been supporting the growing trade between the two continents as well as container deliveries by rail, continuously looking for new cost effective, flexible, reliable and secure solutions to meet customers’ requirements and support their business development.”

GEFCO has been present in China since 1995, with more than 2,000 employees, 10 offices and partners covering almost all the region. The Group is also present in Vietnam, Thailand and South Korea.

GEFCO is continuously looking for new and competitive solutions to meet customer requirements and support their business development between Asia and Europe. The company has been providing different services from FCL (Full Container Load) to LCL (Less than Container Load), the transport of finished vehicles, all tailored for the customers’ products: vehicles, retail, Life Science, etc. with the support of operational and experienced teams.

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