Amsterdam takes position on New Silk Road with missing link

The first train taking off from the Port of Amsterdam

A new direct rail freight service between Duisburg and Amsterdam will commence coming Thursday, 20 August. It is an initiative of Nunner Logistics, Samskip, TMA Terminal and the port of Amsterdam. Nunner Logistics operates weekly trains from the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Changsha to Duisburg. With the direct rail link to Amsterdam, another link has been established between China and the Netherlands. 

The new service will connect Samskip’s rail terminal in Duisburg with TMA Terminal Amsterdam, initially with two weekly departures in each direction. Service frequency will increase to three roundtrips per week from September. DistriRail will provide the rail haulage services, which translate into a journey of seven hours between the port.

Missing link New Silk Road

Nunner Logistics transports a lot of containers from China destined for the UK, with most trains arriving in Duisburg without a suitable intermodal link onwards to the Dutch ports connecting to the UK, says Erik Groot Wassink, Director Special Products at Nunner Logistics. “This new service bridges the gap, ensuring a sound intermodal connection for cargoes destined for the UK. It is also a wonderful intermodal addition for our services between the Netherlands, the UK and CIS countries.”

“We are excited to launch this missing link in our network and offer an even stronger intermodal product”, says also David Besseling, Samskip Head of UK Trade. “The combination of the Samskip rail and short sea service networks creates a variety of efficient long-distance intermodal services for a sustainable door-to-door solution. Together with our partners, we look forward to increasing frequency and geographical reach even further.”

Amsterdam on the New Silk Road

Nearly two weeks after the start of this new service, the port of Amsterdam will see the addition of another China connection. Starting 2 September, a new multimodal service links Xi’an in China with the port of Amsterdam and London. The direct rail freight line runs via Slavkov in the south of Poland, avoiding the busy border point at Malaszewicze-Brest. Short sea connections from Amsterdam connect to the UK.

Also here, Nunner Logistics and TMA Terminal are involved, in partnership with Tiedada Logistics. Amsterdam has always been a stop in the repertoire of the logistics company, but with the latest additions, it is likely to increase in importance. TMA Logistics Chief Executive Gerben Matroos sees the service as the means to “further shape Amsterdam’s position as a short-sea hub. Interestingly, the Dutch capital houses the 4th edition of the European Silk Road Summit, in November this year.


Multimodal company Samskip currently offers weekly short-sea services connecting to the Norwegian Westcoast, and  three-times weekly departures to Hull and Tilbury in the UK. High frequency rail shuttles will also extend the penetration of short sea services into Amsterdam beyond Duisburg, to Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Italy and Turkey, it added.

Distrirail is a rail operator part of DR Group, offering different transport solutions across Europe and Asia. “This greatly enriches our current rail shuttle services on this corridor”, adds Sander de Roo, Managing Director, DistriRail.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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