European Silk Road Summit 2020 – this is the live blog

Today is the first day of the European Silk Road Summit 2020. At 9.00 CET, the 4th edition of this international conference kicks off, live from our studio in Rotterdam. This is an online event, covering two days: 10 and 11 November. This is the live blog, where we follow the event from minute to minute.

13:05: A networking session is coming up right now, so stay tuned to share insights and connect with the sector’s professionals! As for now, thank you for being with us, and you can join us again tomorrow morning.

13:02: “Rail freight sector proves to be shockproof”: This is the observation that wraps up the first day of the European Silk Road Summit.

12:59: As we are moving towards the end of the day, we would like to kindly remind you that tomorrow morning is the second day of the European Silk Road Summit. Sessions III and IV will take place between 09:00 and 15:15.

12:53: While talking about Chengdu, Verbraak mentioned that “it constitutes a fast growing city that has invested in infrastructure. This makes it even more attractive for the establishment of a stable connection that will allow Dutch businesses expand towards the East with a low cost”. He also said that the existence of multiple European pavilions there indicates the willingness of the Chinese market to import European products.

12:42: The relationship between Tilburg and Chengdu, after the establishment of the direct rail service, creates the feeling of endless possibilities, says Verbraak.

12:39: Roland Verbraak, General Manager of GVT Group of Logistics, is now taking the floor to discuss about business opportunities in China.

12:36: Interesting insight from Verhees: Dual temperature reefers to the possibility of dividing a reefer container in two different temperatures.

12:33: Moderator Majorie van Leijen is addressing questions from the audience to Will Verhees: The first one concerns the fueling of reefer containers.

12:26: “Conditioned transportation market is growing but not yet mature. Specific steps need to be taken in all levels and shippers themselves can have a critical role in that”, commented Verhees.

12:23: We are currently seeing Will Verhees, Sales Manager at KLG,  providing details on conditioned transportation.

12:17: Live question for the audience: Which of the following products are NOT part of the New silk Road?

1. Cars, 2. Horses, 3. Wine, or 4. Medicine?

12:13: “Quality should be prioritised over quantity” concluded Khalaji. Verweij and Verbraak are currently commenting on this view live from our studio in Rotterdam.

12:07: In his presentation Khalaji explains the opportunities on the New Silk Road from the logistics perspective. He mainly focuses on how LCL transportation along the route Europe-China is seen as a new transport alternative that is rapidly gaining importance.

12:01: Coming up next, Tufan Khalaji, Director Business Unit Intermodal at Nunner, will talk about LCL shipments to and from China.

11:58: Air and rail freight sharing the pie: A possible scenario under certain circumstances says Kees Verweijs, while reffering to a video about the airport of Liege.

11:50: Our online community is currently exchanging ideas and discussing restlessly on ‘Brella’ platform. Even if the circumstances are difficult, we always find a way to connect with each other. Come and join us here!

11:43: According to Cristiano Vecci a basic challenge, regarding rail transportation, concerns the availability of the service.

11:39: “Customers are nowadays more aware of the value that rail has. From an emergency solution it is now growing and gaining a central role in fashion transportation services”, says Bugane.

11:37: Eleonora Bugane and Wouter Marees are also connected live with the studio at the moment, commenting on the topic of fashion on the New Silk Road.

11:33: Don’t forget that you can always register in the event here . You can interact live with other participants, comment, and ask questions!

11:31: “HUGO BOSS has experienced a solid growth of transportation in the New Silk Road since the beginning of its services”, comments Vecci.

11:29: Cristiano Vecci: “Today rail supply chain is faster than ever”.

11:25: We now have with us  Cristiano Vecci, Transport specialist at HUGO BOSS Ticino SA, who will talk about the views of HUGO BOSS on the New Silk Road and its supply chain.

11:20: Roland Verbraak is also in the studio commenting on Kees Verweij’s insights.

11:18: In a conclusion of his presentation Verweij mentioned that rail transport volumes are going up and estimations show that they will increase more in the next few years. Logistics providers will have a key role in that.

11:13: In Verweij’s opinion digitalisation is a key driver towards the use of rail.

11:10: “Shippers are seeing opportunities in rail links between European and Chinese cities”, says Verweij. Moreover, “rail transport proves to be quite competitive especially in terms of costs and reliability”.

11:08: “We focused on machinery and automotive sectors because they have the main share of transportation”, he explains.

11:06: “What do shippers do? What do they have to recommend?”, that is the central question of Verweij’s research.

11:05:Our first keynote speaker for Session II will be Kees Verweij, Partner at Buck Consultants International. He will discuss the possibilities of using the New Silk Road for global machinery and automotive supply chains.

11:03: Networking and chatting during the break was intense! More opportunities for networking after the end of presentations!

11:02: And we are back! Ready for Session II to kick off!

10:47: Alright first part of the day is over! We are now having a networking break where participants have the opportunity to build their Silk Road network and meet other professionals. See you at 11:00 with Session II talking about the New Silk Road in practice.

10:39:  Live Q&A session with China! The digital version of the European Silk Road Summit allows professionals  to come together!

10:30:Coming up next, the representative of Neptune Logistics, will share insights about the role of sea and air transportation in the China-Europe Block Train transportation after the Covid-19 Epidemic.

10:26: Wensink further expains the benefits of a mutual Dutch-Chinese agenda.

10:23: Chris Wensink: The Netherlands are the hotspot of logistics in Europe at the moment.

10:22: “Active government support for rail freight, possibilities through Mainports, leading position of the country in agricultural products, together with the Dutch customs and the strong multimodal solutions, make the Netherlands a very attractive market for the rail sector”.

10:16: “Lowering track access charges and the development of longer trains are some of our main goals in rail freight” he added.

10:13: “85 per cent of rail transport in the Netherlands is international”, says Tijs.

10:11: Marcel Tijs :There is a momentum for rail freight in Europe at the moment

10:10: Marcel Tijs and Chris Wensink will now discuss about the Dutch connection to the New Silk Road.

10:06: Jia explains the steps taken in Xi’an to facilitate transportation to Europe, also in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

10:00: Coming up, Aurora Jia, from Xi’an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation Co., Ltd, takes the floor to speak about Xi’an’s success story.

09:53: Live Q&A with Sandra Gehenot.

09:43: “Corridors are seen to allow the development of new services and support competitiveness for rail. Reliability, price, and transit time are the main growth drivers, while digitalisation is the enabler of improvements”, she adds.

09:40: “UIC’s objective is to faster develop interoperability and the rail freight sector can greatly benefit from it. Use of digitalisation is a priority”, says Gehenot.

09:38: Sandra Gehenot, Freight Director at UIC, will now talk about the cargo limits of the New Silk Road.

09:30: Attendees are addressing questions live to Mr. Zhang Jing.

09:15: Up next: Live from China -Zhang Jing, Vice General Manager, Chengdu International Railway Port Investment and Development Co., Ltd.

Mr. Jing started his speech by mentioning that the China-Europe train services play a significant and stabilising role.

“For the Chengdu-Europe service we are speeding up high qulity developments that optimise transportation conditions” says Jing.

09:10: Koen Sizoo, Consul General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands Chongqing, is on.

The growth of hubs that connect in the New Silk Road and the significance of rail connections are his main focal point.

09:05: Zhang Guosheng, Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of China in the Netherlands, takes the floor!

“We are unlocking a greater potential to the development of China Europe Express”

09:02: We are also connected live with China!

09:00: And we are live! Ready for two very interesting days!

08:55: Moments before the opening session of the European Silk Road Summit. Our hosts and studio ready for action!

08:50:Coming up at 09:05, the official opening speech of the European Silk Road Summit 2020 belongs to China’s representative in the Netherlands, Zhang Guosheng.

08:45: In 15 minutes the European Silk Road Summit will be live from our studio in Rotterdam! The subject of Session I, that will last until 10:30, is the  Logistic corridor between Europe and China. Stay tuned!

Tuesday 08:30: Only a few minutes until the digital version of the European Silk Road Summit kicks off! For two consequent days, 10 &11 November, you will have the opportunity to learn news concerning the New Silk Road and network with professionals on the European Silk Road networking platform Brella.

Monday 3pm: Networking platform open!

The European Silk Road networking platform – Brella – has opened today for matchmaking. It was launched with a small welcome sessions to get acquainted with the matchmaking platform. First matches were made and meetings were scheduled!

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

1 comment op “European Silk Road Summit 2020 – this is the live blog”

Ahmed Dee|26.02.21|06:36

Now you can capture accurate volumetric weight measurements of parcels and pallets in seconds! Specialist equipment to calculate shipping costs? Pocket-sized, easy to use and cost effective

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