Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Problems of Covid Include Hitting the Much Vaunted Intermodal Belt and Road Initiative

Freight Forwarder Says Things Are Now Settling Down After Under Capacity
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – UK – As with any commercially driven industry it is rare for a company to put its hand up when things aren't as efficiently handled as was expected. When China made great claims for its Belt and Road initiative nobody saw the oncoming Covid associated problems which in turn would lead to difficulties with such multimodal services.

One of the first to jump on the bandwagon was independent freight forwarding outfit Davies Turner which launched its Express China rail freight service, but things have since proved difficult with the soaring demand created by the extreme air and ocean freight difficulties contributing to operational congestion and delays.

Whilst admitting the problems the company says that the service is now, quite literally, back on track, with the operation remaining as the only direct weekly intermodal consolidation service between China and UK, with Tony Cole, Davies Turner’s Head of Ocean commenting:

“Over the last month, we have seen improved rail transit times as a result of more timely departures from China. Furthermore, our initiative to truck containers under bond direct from the rail hub in Poland to our UK depots, which offers the fastest and most reliable route, has also helped to improve operations. Based on the arrivals into the UK over the last four weeks, the dedicated rail service is achieving an average 29-day transit time from departure in Wuhan to arrival at our UK depots.

“With an improved transit time from China to the UK, following last year’s operational difficulties, our direct weekly Express China Rail service for consolidated traffic continues to offer a reliable and much faster service versus the all-ocean alternative from ports on China’s North Eastern and Eastern coasts.”

On departure from Wuhan, China, the rail service heads direct to Malaszewicze in Poland. Containers are then trucked under bond to Dunkerque for transport by ferry to Dover, then on-carried by truck (still secure in the same container) to Davies Turner’s regional distribution centres across the UK, where they are discharged, customs cleared before delivery to final destination.