As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage around the world, there is a large shortage of medical supplies in various countries. At the same time, traffic declines in international passenger flights have led to a significant impact on belly cargo shipments and cross-border transportation has become more difficult. As one of the leading global logistics providers, DB Schenker has fully leveraged its advantages in logistic capabilities and mobilized its global transportation network to assist with the delivery of goods from China to many other countries, ensuring the "lifelines" offered through global transportation are readily available to combat the pandemic.
Up to now, DB Schenker has delivered over 10 million masks and other relief medical supplies to many countries. Our purpose – to advance businesses and lives by shaping the way our world connects – has never been more true. In the past week, the DB Schenker team has successfully completed several cross-border transportations through air transport and the new fast block train solution.
- China → Norway
In the early morning of March 27, we departed from Pudong International Airport to Norway. This flight was loaded with nearly 37 tons of medical supplies including masks and protective clothing, which were commissioned by the Norwegian government from China. In the afternoon of March 27, Norwegian local time, the flight successfully arrived at Oslo Airport.
- China → Germany
To compensate for decreasing air capacities, we sought to use Lufthansa passenger flights to transport urgent medical supplies. On March 27, a Lufthansa A330 – a plane normally used for passenger flights - flew from Shanghai Pudong to Germany. The flight did not have any passengers on board, but instead carried 30 tons of 2.8 million masks and 12 tons of other medical supplies donated by B.Braun China. Besides the belly compartment which is generally used for cargo storage, the cabin seat and the luggage rack above the seats were also filled with medical supplies.
- China → Italy
On March 25, DB Schenker started a new block train service connecting Xi’an and North & South Europe in record time by rail, in cooperation with Xi’an Landport and DB Cargo Eurasia. This innovative rail solution aims to reach Scandinavia countries and Italy within 12 days and 15 days respectively, cutting the lead time by 5-6 days in comparison with traditional routing via Hamburg/Duisburg hub. This train was fully loaded with daily necessities and solar modules, and also one batch of medical supplies donated by Xi’an Gaoke Group.
The new train is routed via Kaliningrad in Russia and further connected by shortsea to Rostock, Germany. Choosing Kaliningrad as a border station can eliminate a second gauge change from wide to standard gauge in Europe while avoiding the congestion in Małaszewicze, Poland - the traditional rail entry point to Europe. Meanwhile, the express liner can transfer containers from Kaliningrad to Rostock in just 4 hours. Additionally, Rostock is a comprehensive seaport and the railport offering multiple logistics services including customs, warehousing, cross-docking, and so on. It can connect Scandinavia with a daily ferry service within hours and has access to the intermodal train network to Verona, Hamburg, Duisburg etc. These combined advantages of Kaliningrad and Rostock bring customer benefits with shorter lead times, reliable service and lower freight costs. Upon our customer’s request on March 18 to deliver urgent medical supplies to Italy to support the fight against COVID-19, and with limited ocean capacities due to blank sailing and an original lead time of over 50 days, DB Schenker took full advantage of its logistics expertise and coordinated with multiple parties immediately and designed this new fast block train solution within only a few days.
We are all in this together. As a global logistics provider, the team at DB Schenker is honored to be supporting the worldwide flow of emergency supplies during this challenging time.
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