In response to growing demand for rail freight services between Europe and Asia, DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has opened three additional Rail Competence Centers in Europe and is introducing the fastest rail freight connection between China and Germany. Located in Le Havre, France, Felixstowe, UK and Genoa, Italy, the local Rail Centers are staffed with China Rail Experts who advise customers and efficiently coordinate freight volumes. The new rail service, operating between Xi’an in China and Hamburg and Neuss in Germany, has been set up in cooperation with Xi’an International Inland Port Investment & Development Group Co. Ltd. and is cutting transit time from 17 days to between 10 and 12 days.
“We’ve seen a substantial increase in rail freight volumes along the ‘New Silk Road’ from China to Europe and vice versa,” states Thomas Kowitzki, Head of China Rail, Multimodal Europe, DHL Global Forwarding. “Rail freight products are attractive due to their cost-effectiveness, short transit time, and lower CO2 emissions compared to other transport modes. Moreover, they require the real operational expertise that we bring to the table. We are happy to further expand our European Rail presence with a focus on rail transport in the DHL network. With our growing number of dedicated Country Rail Competence Centers and cutting-edge rail services we are offering the right portfolio of transport expertise and solutions for our customers while their business between Europe and Asia continues to grow.”
Customer service and freight handling through dedicated local teams
The Rail Competence Centers already coordinate significant volumes of export and import flows, including less-than-container-load (LCL) DHL RailConnect and full-container-load (FCL) DHL RailLine products. In addition to freight handling, dedicated teams offer comprehensive customer service. They coordinate end-to-end transport processes from collection and export all the way to customs clearance and delivery by truck or combined rail transport to the final destination. Customers benefit from shipment tracking, including temperature information upon request. Following the four Regional Rail Competence Centers in China and a European DHL Rail Competence Center in Poland, the first dedicated Country DHL Rail Competence Center was opened in Stuttgart, Germany in 2017.
Cutting-edge transit time of 10 and 12 days
Starting in Xi’an, at the heart of the New Silk Road economic belt, the new rail service takes an approximate 9,400 km 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. The final stretch of the route crosses Poland into Germany to the port city of Hamburg, and to Neuss, an important logistics hub on the Rhine River opposite Düsseldorf. This also shortens transit times for customers to other European countries e.g. Benelux, France and UK. Traversing numerous countries, the fastest rail service between China and Germany was created with the support of China Railway, Belintertrans, RTSB Gmbh, and UTLC – Eurasian Rail Alliance.
The fast Xi’an-Germany rail connection will offer customers real-time milestone visibility, using GPS tracking of shipments via the iSee software platform to give shippers door-to-door visibility and insight into any shipping exceptions as soon as they occur.
With the expansion of its intermodal network and expertise, DHL Global Forwarding emphazises the core of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s recently presented new corporate “Strategy 2025 – Delivering excellence in a digital world”. The Group’s purpose remains to connect people and improve their lives by enabling trade and helping businesses to grow.