Suzhou-Duisburg link

Nippon Express launches new Europe-China train amidst booming demand

Nippon Express has launched a new regular service from Suzhou, in eastern China. Once per week a train departs to Europe, stopping in the Polish hub of Malaszewicze and the German nodes Hamburg and Duisburg. It is part of its strategy to move more goods by rail this year.

The first train departed on 7 February and since then, every Sunday marked a new departure from Suzhou West Station, located amidst the industrial clusters of eastern China. An eastbound service is in the planning, and the Japanese company wants to develop rail freight services from Suzhou to Moscow, Russia and Hanoi in Vietnam as well.

Right time and place

Nippon Express is jumping in at the right moment, as the demand for rail freight services to Europe is booming. Existing train services are fully booked, and a lot of cargo remains in China to be shipped to Europe, not necessarily via the traditional routes.

The company already realised the potential last year, when it announced its plans to increase the rail services connecting China-Europe. From the start of 2021, it would double the freight trains it operates, and move more of its volumes to rail. The new service seems a perfect start.

5,000 trips per year

Since 2015, the company has been connecting various Chinese cities with European ones, using the China Railway Express. The collaboration with a train operator from Xi’an, allows the logistics company to operate around 3,000 round trips to Europe per year. Estimations say that with the company turning its attention to rail services, these round trips to Europe will reach the number of 5,000 per year.

Currently, Nippon Express sees 10 per cent of its cargo transported by rail. “To satisfy increasingly diverse logistics needs, Nippon Express will continue formulating new transport services and meeting the commitment to “create new ideas and value that expand the field of logistics”, the company said.

Also read:

Nippon Express doubles China-Europe connection

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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