Friday, August 12, 2016

Supply Chain Needs Alternative Multimodal Logistics Solutions in Different Geographical Regions

Rail Freight Challenges Traditional Ocean Route for Perishable Cargoes
Shipping News Feature
RUSSIA – CHINA – It is a fact that multimodal logistics change dependent on numerous factors, not the least of which is geography. When it comes to optimising the supply chain between two such behemoths as China and Russia the challenge is constantly to choose the most economic route, however when perishable cargoes enter the equation the picture can change dramatically and now JSC RZD Logistics, the offshoot of state run rail carrier RZD, has been trialling shipments of perishable goods overland as against the traditional ocean route.

The first container train, organised in cooperation with Transcontainer, loaded with 6 @ 40 foot refrigerated containers carrying fruit and vegetables, left Dalian on August 8, 2016. It is expected to arrive at Moscow’s Orekhovo-Zuevo rail station in 18-20 days on a door to door service which means no transshipments or long term storage to await feeder vessels. The boxes are powered by a diesel-generator wagon to maintain the temperature necessary for preserving the goods at optimum temperatures.

RZD Logistics says it can reduce the overall delivery time to 12 days, a third of the sea route timetable whilst maintaining a competitive rate due to the minimal cost of running rail stock across China and the process of shipping of perishable goods in refrigerated containers by rail is a fundamentally new technology in China according to RZD Logistics deputy sales director Alexander Baskakov who said:

”Nobody has used [rail freight] previously due to the lack of transport solutions and the proper rolling stock in China. This technology fully meets RZD Logistics customers’ priorities, which are the high speed of delivery and safety of goods."

Russia is desirous to obtain a stable and reliable supply of fruit and vegetables and RZD Logistics say exporters there are ready to ship regular consignments 3 or 4 times a week consisting of eight 40 foot containers whilst the service could also be viable for the shipment of other frozen and chilled goods, including pharmaceuticals.

The first refrigerated train prepares to leave Dalian.