September 16, 2014: DHL Global Forwarding, leading provider of air, sea and road freight services in Europe and Asia, announced today new developments in its pioneering multimodal services in China and plans for North Asia. A true door-to-door service, DHL's multimodal solutions connect China to Europe by picking up goods from any location in China, taking it by rail through to Poland and offering last mile delivery by truck or rail to anywhere in Europe.
The company today announced a new weekly scheduled block train service from Suzhou along the trans-Siberian North Corridor, to DHL's intermodal hub in Poland, connecting Suzhou with Europe. A dedicated and cost effective service, it takes half the time of ocean freight and is a sixth of the cost of airfreight. This expansion complements the existing daily single wagon service from Shanghai to Europe, also along the North Corridor, and the weekly block train service from Chengdu to Europe along China's West Corridor rail line through Kazakhstan to Europe.
The new scheduled block train service offers an average transit time of 14 days to Warsaw from Suzhou and will access DHL's Europe network via Manzhouli in China and Zabaikalsk in Russia and DHL's intermodal hub in Malaszewicze.
The expansion taps on Suzhou's strategic location within Jiangsu Province, an important production area for engineering, manufacturing, high tech, automotive and the retail sector with growing demand.
Roger Crook, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said: "Suzhou is a strategic departure point for Jiangsu and it is a huge benefit for our customers to have direct access to inter-continental rail links rather than having to go via Chengdu. Being able to offer multiple loading points across China creates many opportunities for our customers which is why we are seeing so much interest in multimodal services."
"DHL Global Forwarding's multimodal offering is truly evolving into a well-established service. Geographically, we're expanding our coverage in China. The North Corridor service taps the bustling production and commercial centers of Shanghai and Suzhou, and its surrounding areas. The West Corridor rail service originates from Chengdu -- one of the most important distribution centers in Western China and a hub for high tech goods, automotive and other industries. DHL has pioneered the rail service and customers are seeing the benefits of the service which offers reductions in transit times, cost and CO2 emissions," said Kelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific.
Broadly, DHL's multimodal rail solution customers can expect delivery time reductions of between 10 and 21 days compared to sea freight, depending on origin and destination pairs. In addition, customers seeking environmentally friendly solutions can also expect a fall of CO2 emissions of up to 90% compared to airfreight.
More Options for Businesses of All Sizes
Making the rail service even more accessible to more businesses, DHL also introduced the rail service in a Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) option. Called DHL Railconnect, it allows large multi-national companies and small businesses alike to better manage their inventory flows by sending out shipments in smaller consignments as and when they need to. For customers with larger shipments, the full-container service, now known as DHL Railline, remains available for customers to block out single containers, wagon groups or whole block trains.
Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding China, said: "DHL Global Forwarding is the world leader in Less-than-Container Load ocean freight services and one of the main actors in the European Less-than-Truck load, so it's no surprise we have transferred the expertise into the rail solution. We're seeing increased customer demand and we're constantly innovating to help our customers. Earlier this year, we introduced the first temperature-controlled China-Europe rail service, providing customers with temperature-sensitive products year-round access to this cost-effective shipping route regardless of the weather."
Plans for North Asian Multimodal Network -- Japan and Korea connected to China rail service
As DHL Global Forwarding's multimodal rail solution from China to Europe is well developed, the company is exploring ways to plug in neighboring countries into the network. Using ferry services between China, Japan and Korea, it is looking to move cargo shipments onto the China rail network and create a strong North Asian multimodal network to service the major economies of the three markets and significant volume of imports and exports.
Kelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Asia Pacific, said, "DHL Global Forwarding presently already runs an existing China-Japan-China Ferry-Rail service that connects China via Shanghai to the major cities in Japan and vice versa. Cargo is transported using a ferry across the East China Sea from Shanghai to Hakata and Japan Rail -- the country's most extensive rail network. This enables goods from just about anywhere in China to reach any part of Japan via our multimodal rail-ferry service."
"For Korea, we are exploring a ferry service across the Yellow Sea between China and Korea, and then connecting onto the Rail network in China. Once the service is in place, it will position China as a key conduit for North Asia to Europe, and greatly support customers across North Asia with a strong alternative option between air freight and ocean freight to move their shipments," Leung added.
Connecting seamlessly from DHL Global Forwarding's expanding network in Asia to Europe, DHL's multimodal service ensures complete supply chain visibility and enables a faster-to-market approach between both continents for all customers.