HAMBURG: DB Schenker has launched a regular container rail service from Hamburg to Zhengzhou in China's Henan province.
The new service is the result of a partnership with Zhengzhou's city council that began running weekly trains to Hamburg in August last year.
The first train, with 41 containers, left DB Schenker's DUSS terminal in early September carrying a shipment of industrial robots for the 17-day eastbound trip via Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
In Hamburg to see the train off was DB Mobility Logistics management board member Karl-Friedrich Rausch, Hamburg city councillor Bernd Egert and the governor of Henan province Xie Fuzhan.
"Our customers benefit from the experience DB Schenker has been able to accumulate over many years for the transport of goods by rail from and to China," said Rausch. "The ever-increasing goods traffic with China offers a lot of potential, and at the same time we see an increase for transports to China by rail as well."
Councilor Egert added: "The Hansestadt Hamburg is a pioneer in the China trade. We are proud that from today, Hamburg is not only a destination but also a starting point for goods exchange with China by rail."
DB Schenker has been running regular weekly block-train services between China and Germany since 2011 with automotive and electronic traffic. The company says that between 2012 and 2014 it has carried 40,000 TEUs between China and Europe as a modal option to ocean freight.
In the same week as DB Schenker Rail departed from Hamburg, Cargolux launched a third 747-8 freighter service from Luxembourg to Zhengzhou. The airline says it plans to increase frequencies to six a week by the end of this year "in a bid to offer its customers shortest transit times between Europe and any city in Central China". Daily truck services from Zhengzhou connect Beijing and Shanghai as well as inland cities such as Xi'an, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing.