China takes another step closer to Italy

Rail Hub Milano. Source: Contship Italia

A new Silk Road route is now connecting China with a hub in Melzo (Milan), in Italy. The service is powered by Italian shipping company Contship Italia and German rail freight company Bahnoperator GmbH.

Three trains are currently scheduled to leave China every Saturday and, in the next months, there will be trips on Wednesdays as well. This new project, with its reduced transit time, represents a valid alternative to sea shipping.

The route

The first train departed last May. The trains will leave from various Chinese cities and, after reaching Xian, they will head towards Melzo. The journey takes 22 days to complete. Sources from Contship Italia told RailFreight.com that the train will pass through Russia, Poland, and Austria before entering Italy and that Bahnoperator will be responsible for the whole route.

Matthieu Gasselin, CEO of Sogemar, the Contiship Italia holding company, claimed that this project will mark significant improvements in operativity, shorter transit times, and better sustainability. Marcel Stein, general manager of Bahnoperator GmbH considers the new route a significant expansion of rail freight services between China and Italy.

The expertise of Contship Italia

Contship Italia will provide its intermodal network and its services in the Melzo hub. More specifically the custom service RHM (Rail Hub Milan), ensures that customs are always present in Melzo. The company’s subsidiary Hannibal will provide flexible intermodal solutions for freight transport on road.

Contship Italia is also planning to strengthen rail freight transport through its rail traction subsidiary Oceanogate. The implementation of Hannibal and Oceanogate, therefore, enables Contship Italia to take care of the whole transportation process from port to hub.

Moreover, with the integration of the service driveMyBox, Contship Italia can now help companies to track their cargo through its journey simply through an app. Sources from Contship Italia stated that this is the first service of this kind in Italy.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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