SHANGHAI: December 20, 2015. DHL Global Forwarding has inaugurated a new rail link from Lianyungang, China to Turkey via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The transit time will average 14 days and includes Caspian and Black Sea crossings before arriving in Istanbul for forwarding by truck to any Turkish city.
The creation of the rail corridor follows the signing of an MoU between DHL and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Express (KTZ Express) to improve rail links between Europe and China via Kazakhstan's commercial hubs, including the newly-created Khorgos Special Economic Zone.
In realizing the new service DHL acknowledges the close cooperation of China, Azerbaijan and Georgia Railways, Karvan Logistics and RTSB Logistics, plus the governments of all three countries of transit and Lianyungang's municipal government.
"Negotiating the complex transnational requirements that span the Silk Road Economic Belt is no easy task," said Kelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific. "It requires a deep understanding of the varying regulatory and infrastructural conditions in each market, robust partnerships with local-market experts and authorities, and experience in brokering cross-border connections without compromising on overall speed and efficiency."
DHL says the new service, reflecting China's proposed 'One Belt, One Road' initiative that could generate more than US$2.5 trillion in annual trade in the next decade, also includes a contingency trucking service between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
"Trade between China and countries along the Silk Road has grown 19 percent every year on average for the past decade, and the establishment of One Belt, One Road will only further ignite these already-high volumes of economic activity," added Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding China. "Turkey already counts China as its second-largest source of imports, and the EU as its largest export market. New corridors like the Lianyungang-Istanbul link will only further boost Turkey's strategic importance and associated economic development as a conduit for trade between China and Europe."