RailFreight Live today: Vilnius as a new hub on the New Silk Road
Since the capital of Lithuania was assigned as a new delivery station on the New Silk Road, market demand has gradually increased. Starting from 18 September, a train will depart every week from Xi’an to Vilnius, a journey that only takes eight days. Traction is carried out by Xi’an Intermodal Transport Company.
Zhang Xiao, deputy general manager of the Xi’an International Port Multimodal Transportation, talked with RailFreight Live earlier, an interview that will be broadcasted in the show this afternoon. He explains that this new service has been in operation for three months, but due to strong demand, it will now become a regular weekly line. The first two departures are scheduled for 18 and 25 September.
Competitive lead time
The Xi’an-Vilnius line only takes 8 days for the 9,000 kilometer-long journey, a very competitive lead time. “Because the train runs on a wide gauge throughout the whole journey, there is one less transshipment point and this makes the journey obviously faster”, explained Xiao.
The goods on this route mainly include computer and instrument products, industrial products, textiles and other categories, and from the perspective of operations in the first three months, LCL shipments will be relatively more. Based on the postal transportation needs between countries, the train is to carry more than half of the postal cargo too. “This train currently only runs westbound, but eastbound shipments are still being planned”, added Xiao.
In addition to meeting the freight demand from Xi’an to Vilnius, there is a bigger vision behind the establishment of the new line. “This line is to pave the way for the spread of our services to the Nordic market. We hope to distribute the goods to Northern Europe through Vilnius. At the end of the year, we will consider developing Vilnius as a distribution hub.”
Do you want to hear more about the regular line from Xi’an to Vilnius? Listen to the interview on RailFreight Live at 1pm this afternoon.