Russian train loaded with Maersk containers, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

Maersk links the Far East to the Black Sea by rail

Maersk introduced another intermodal service across the Trans-Siberian route connecting the Russian Far East with the Black Sea. Specifically, the new service called AE77 links the VSC Terminal in Vostochny with the NUTEP Terminal at Novorossiysk travelling on Russian infrastructure. It will operate weekly with an average transit time between 25 and 30 days — moreover, the first AE77 train is already on its way to Novorossiysk since 22 April.

Similarly to the AE19 service, AE77 transports cargo transhipped from container ships in Asian ports towards Europe. However, trains do not head for Northern Europe but the Black Sea and Southeastern Europe. From Novorossiysk, cargo will reload onto sea vessels that will reach destinations such as Ukraine and Turkey.

Intermodal and reliable

Launching an intermodal Eurasian service is important news. However, combining it with a reliable solution directed to Southeastern Europe is even more significant. “The launch of AE77 is an important milestone combining rail and sea”, explained Zsolt Katona, Head of Maersk Eastern Europe. The new route can prove to be a good alternative to existing sea connections, offering a fixed itinerary schedule.

Especially after the Suez blockage and the disturbance it brought to supply chains, it is critical to provide competitive rail solutions that benefit heavily impacted regions. That being said, Southeastern Europe, including Mediterranean ports apart from Black Sea hubs, could use AE77 as a new gateway to transcontinental transportation.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Editor at RailFreight.com

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