Image: Port of Rotterdam/GVT

Chinese thirst for Euro beer drives Rotterdam-Chengdu shuttle expansion

A demand in China for European beer and cars is helping cement east-west rail freight opportunities, highlighted by GVT Group of Logistics’ decision to extend the frequency of its Rotterdam to Chengdu rail shuttle to five round trips a week, starting in December.

Roland Verbraak, General Manager of GVT, said: “More and more parties are discovering the service as a useful complement to air freight and ocean shipping. Traditionally, we handle a lot of electronics products from China. But by now, our cargo also includes a sizeable volume of seasonal production – shoe collections for example. At the end of the day, rail transport increases your flexibility and allows you to take more effective control of your stock management.”

‘Very diverse’

From a Chinese perspective, says the company, Rotterdam forms an efficient logistics hub for cargo destined for the United Kingdom and Spain, as well as the United States eastern seaboard. The cargo that moves from west to east is also very diverse, as Verbraak explains: “Cars, medicine, and lately a lot of Hoegaarden beer and machinery for the cotton industry in the Chengdu region.”

The shuttle is operated by Railport Brabant in collaboration with the Chinese rail operator CDIRS. It is also the showpiece of the Get Ahead in Europe initiative, an ongoing campaign organised by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Logistiek Midden-Brabant aimed at drawing Asian companies’ attention to the advantages of this Dutch axis as an efficient gateway to Europe.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a full-time journalist for RailFreight.com – a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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