The multi-modal service is based on shipments from East Asian countries arriving at the port of Xiamen where the cargos are consolidated before taking the Belt and Road express to the West, departing on Wednesdays.
Belt and Road refers to China’s huge infrastructure-focused investments in central Asia linking to surrounding regions. The new service is the latest of a growing number of rail services, including those serving the automotive industry, taking advantage of the Belt and Road initiative as discussed in Automotive Logistics Global Shanghai conference last month.
David Wu, General Manager at XMIRS, said: “Depending on the origin cities in Asia, it will take 16 to 17 days at a minimum to reach the destination in Europe via Xiamen.
“More block trains will be operated as demand grows. I am convinced that the countries and cities along the Belt and Road will benefit from the advantage of this seamless transportation mode, which in turn will attract more domestic and foreign enterprises’ attention to Xiamen.”
Kelvin Tang, director of road and rail at Ceva Logistics North Asia, commented: “Multi-modal (sea-rail) transport is another mode for connecting East and West, which saves more than ten days compared with sea transport alone. We hope to further drive our partnership with XMIRS by opening new Wednesday block trains and regular Saturday block trains for South China and Asian customers’ alternative transportation needs.”
State-owned XMIRS began running block trains from Xiamen in August 2015 and has three international routes: China-Europe, China-Central Asia and China-Russia. Cities linked with the services include Hamburg, Budapest, Rotterdam, Moscow and Alma-Ata.