New rail freight service between Italy and China
Rail freight operator Far East Land Bridge (FELB) is set to launch a new service between the intermodal terminal of Melzo (Milan) and Chengdu (Southeastern China) on 26 January. The service will transport goods without any intermediate stops.
This service will be commercialised by Contship Italia, the Italian subsidiary of FELB, which in turn is owned by the Russian Railways Logistics. The new service was tested in October and will now run twice a month, with the objective of becoming a weekly service.
FELB will move 40 high-cube containers in both directions, taking between 16 to 18 days. In addition, the rail freight operator offers to assume other services such as customs administration and warehouse operations, not only between Melzo and Chengdu but also from Milan to other logistic hubs in Central and South Italy. It will do this in cooperation with logistics operators Rail Hub Milano and Hannibal.
Rail freight transportation between Italy and China is very competitive in price compared with air freight. Moreover, it is much faster than sea freight between the countries, which takes around thirty days. FELB’s manager Nicola Cavasin explained that the service is very interesting for Italian fashion, automotive and electronics industries, with several factories and warehouses close to Milan. A rail freight service between Mortara (Lombardia, North Italy) and China had been set up earlier by a Chinese company, but did not continue, he added.