SINGAPORE: DHL Global Forwarding is to develop rail-based forwarding services on the China-Europe route via a new joint-venture called United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC).
DHL signed an MoU in Moscow in March with the 'Project office of UTLC' ahead of the company's official incorporation later this year.
UTLC is to be formed by OJSC Russian Railways, the JSC National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, and the State enterprise Belarusian Railway. UTLC will operate as an integrated provider of logistics and container rail transportation services between Europe and China. The DHL-UTLC partnership plans to operate door-to-door delivery times of 21 days.
Steve Huang, CEO DHL Global Forwarding China who signed the MOU, said: "The potential for rail freight growth between Asia and Europe is huge but to grow it successfully requires high-level strategic partnerships such as the one we've established between DHL Global Forwarding and UTLC.
"Our partnership leverages both groups' strengths to accelerate the development of rail forwarding services on the China-Europe-China route with UTLC providing all rail services in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and DHL providing third party logistics and door-to-door delivery."
Zhanar Rymzhanova, CEO, PO UTLC, who co-signed the MOU on behalf of the three railways, added: "One of the project goals is to promote best client-oriented services. UTLC will be responsible for operating station-to-station rail service, including procurement of the rolling stock, and all related services on the route as well as pricing. The UTLC transit product will be based on a guaranteed train schedule."
DHL says it currently runs a daily service from Shanghai, Tianjin or Qingdao via the trans-Siberian North corridor to Europe and a weekly China-Europe rail service launched last year along China's West corridor using the Chengdu Express Train, dubbed the fastest rail connection between China and Europe. In January this year, the company introduced the first temperature-controlled rail container service between China-Europe on a year-round basis.
OJSC Russian Railways, with one of the largest transport networks in the world, accounts for nearly 44 percent of Russia's cargo turnover, including pipelines. JSC "NC "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" owns the rail network of Kazakhstan and accounts for approximately 50 percent of the total cargo turnover of the country, including a significant part of its exports. The Belarusian Railway operates the national rail network of the Republic of Belarus. The company's cargo turnover makes up more than 75 percent of the total turnover of all public transport.