Ten years have passed since the first high-speed container train was sent from China to Europe. On March 19, 2011, the pilot delivery took place from Chongqing, China, to Duisburg, Germany. The train covered 11,000 km in 16 days. Over the next ten years, more than 33,000 container trains traveled from China to Europe and back. Today, high-speed rail transportation continues to play an increasingly important role in international logistics and serve a growing number of destinations. AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG described the state of container train market in 2021.
Vladislav Martin, China-EU Rail Freight Transportation Division Head
High-speed rail (HSR) transportation has taken international trade to the next level. This alternative to sea and air transportation has made it possible for manufacturers of electronics and consumer goods to deliver goods from China to Europe quickly and safely. AsstrA statistics confirm the growing demand of this alternative service: we shipped 2,800 TEUs via HSR from China to the EU during the first three quarters of 2021.
Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Italy were the most popular EU destinations for AsstrA customers ordering HSR deliveries from China. Door-to-door delivery times to these countries vary from 25 to 35 days. The corporate group organizes transportation to all European countries. The longest China-EU HSR route covers 13,000 km to Madrid, Spain.
In 2021, France appeared as a new HSR delivery point in the European Union for cargo from China. In Q1, the China-EU Rail Freight Transportation Division team at AsstrA organized its first such delivery for a customer.
The Asstra team in Shanghai works directly with train operators to avoid intermediaries, optimize costs, and ensure a transparent supply chain. The company’s specialists provide additional services to such as first and last mile transport, customs support, deconsolidation and consolidation, and overseeing the loading of cargo into containers.
Ekaterina Voronova, China-CIS Rail Freight Transportation Division Head
We provide HSR transport to a wide variety of CIS destinations for the transportations from China. In Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, local AsstrA teams can receive cargo at stations and arrange door-to-door delivery to the consignee's warehouse. It is important to remember that high-speed container trains follow specific routes so as to minimize transit time. Customers from the fashion, beauty, high-tech and vehicle manufacturing industries particularly appreciate the fast delivery times.
If transportation is required to a station not served by container trains, the company's experts can organize road cargo delivery or single/wagon-load shipments from the arrival stations of high-speed container trains.
Most China-CIS HSR cargo goes to Russia. Deliveries are made to the Yekaterinburg-Tovarny Station, the Shushary Station in St. Petersburg, and the Moscow hub stations (Vorsino, Bely Rast, Elektrougli, Kresty, Khovrino, Selyatino). High-speed container trains run regularly on these routes.
The AsstrA team can send customer-dedicated trains to any station. The volume of these container trains range from 50 to 60 forty-foot containers. In total, the corporate group organized the transportation of more than 6,000 TEUs by high-speed container trains from China to CIS countries from January to September 2021.
What is more, in November 2021, AsstrA will send high-speed container train exclusively with our customers’ goods. On November 20, the train with 44 forty-foot containers leaves the Changsha station for the Vorsino station (Moscow). The expected travel time is 20-25 days station-to-station. The China Rail CIS team in Moscow will provide container reception and release, as well as organize last mile deliveries for customers.
Irina Zaika, Freight Forwarder of China-CIS Rail Freight Transportation Division
In Ukraine, interest in HSR transport from China is growing fast among both our Ukrainian and EU customers. If there are problems with reservations on HSR trains going to the EU, the Kiev Liski station remains an excellent alternative destination. Ukraine's convenient location makes last mile deliveries possible within a short time frame, and the AsstrA team is ready to process re-export documents in full compliance with current rules.