As of December, GVT-Group of Logistics will be increasing the frequency of its rail shuttle service between Rotterdam and Chengdu in China to five round trips per week. “More and more parties are discovering the service as a useful complement to air freight and ocean shipping,” says GVT’s General Manager Roland Verbraak.
The Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam-Express first completed its route – which runs via Kazakhstan and Moscow – in June. The service started with three weekly round trips. After first expanding to four, this schedule will now be increased to five runs per week in December. Verbraak: “Traditionally, we handle a lot of electronics products from China. But by now, our cargo also includes a sizeable volume of seasonal production – shoe collections, for example. At the end of the day, rail transport increases your flexibility and allows you to take more effective control of your stock management. Everything is delivered ‘door to door’ within 15 days.” Moreover, rail transport is 75 percent cheaper than air freight. And from a Chinese perspective, Rotterdam forms an efficient logistics hub for cargo destined for the United Kingdom and Spain as well as the US Eastern Seaboard.
Get Ahead in Europe
The cargo that moves in the other direction – from West to East – is very diverse. “Cars, medicine, and lately a lot of Hoegaarden beer and machinery for the cotton industry in the Chengdu region.” The shuttle service is operated by Railport Brabant in collaboration with the Chinese rail operator CDIRS. It is the showpiece of the ‘Get Ahead in Europe’ initiative. Through this campaign, which was launched in September, partners Logistiek Midden-Brabant and the Port of Rotterdam Authority aim to draw Asian companies’ attention to the advantages of this Dutch axis as an efficient gateway to Europe.
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