The logistics provider noted that rail freight was growing in China and was benefitting from political support. It also said that rail offered the advantages of lower cost versus air freight over medium to long distance routes as well as an integrated transport network connecting seaports, hinterlands and economic zones over long distances.

“In Geodis Wilson we follow closely the development of this segment, particularly when it involves intercontinental connections between China and Europe,” said Kim Pedersen, executive vice president of Geodis Wilson. “We are targeting customers who are looking for an alternative to airfreight with a longer lead time.”

As part of its multimodal offering in China the rail freight service will support door-to-door shipment of goods on container block trains as well as all pre- and post-rail transport services. Value-added services will include, pickup, pre-carriage and on-carriage, reloading, control of trans-shipments, railway wagon planning, freight documentation and real-time tracking and tracing.

At the Automotive Logistics China conference in China this past April Bill Guo, Geodis Wilson’s sales and marketing director for Hong Kong and China, said that while price was important customers also demanded a good service, and the company sought to find the best balance between the two; one area that it did so was in its spare parts operations.

The company is also launching services for 20- and 40-foot full container load and breakbulk from China to Central Asia, Mongolia, Russia and Europe. Geodis said this will build on its existing services to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia for a number of customers.