China/Europe rail freight service

Duisburg, Germany: DB Schenker has resurrected its Europe to China rail experiment. A container test-train from Chongqing, China, arrived in Duisburg, Germany, after a 16-day journey – half the time it would have taken on a container ship on the Asia-Europe sea route.

The company hopes to serve the gap between air and sea freight and plans a regular services between China and Germany during 2011 if there is sufficient demand.

Karl-Friedrich Rausch, board director of DB Mobility Logistics says: “Most important of all, the time taken for the journey from China’s interior, the train’s arrival in the middle of Germany and the possibility of delivering the containers from here to their destinations quickly and safely demonstrates the attractiveness of our service.”

“We hope with the journey now completed, we have once again convinced our customers of the advantages of such a train,” he says.

In February 2009, Schenker planned a weekly two-way rail service aimed at car manufacturers, chemicals companies and white goods manufacturers, but pulled the service in the face of the economic downturn that saw ocean freight rates eroded rail’s competitive advantage. The majority exports from Chongqing are shipped by sea and air.