For a long time now the transport of goods from Asia to Europe has been hampered by a lack of transport capacity by rail and congested sea terminals. Therefore, in May, DB Schenker launched a new scheme in the form of a truck route from China to the Czech Republic. Customers have shown a great deal of interest in alternative shipping options from China.
Most shipments from China to Europe have historically been transported by sea. During the pandemic, as demand for this type of transport grew, so did the cost, which is now at its highest point ever. Over-congested sea terminals have also caused major delays with shipments. Many local manufacturers have therefore switched from ships to transporting their goods by train. However, rail transport also soon ran out of capacity, which was exacerbated by unreliable timetables, a lack of rail containers and restrictions on the transport of certain types of goods.
The logistics company DB Schenker is therefore now offering customers a direct truck line from China, which leads to the Czech Republic on a proven route through Russia, Belarus and Poland. In China, transport is provided by a local carrier, which takes the consignment to the border with Russia, where it is reloaded onto a truck in a customs warehouse in just one day. It then imports the goods to the customer in the Czech Republic to be unloaded. The goods are transported within the international DB Schenker network the entire time.
Standard transport with a cargo of 33 pallets with a maximum weight of 22 tons takes 2 weeks and is suitable for a wide range of goods. During these shipments, all that needs to be considered is booking the transhipment slot at the border 2-3 weeks in advance. The truck then travels direct with no further border delays. The main preferred transport route, covering more than 13,000 km, runs through the Manzhouli/Zabaikal'sk border crossing, while the other suitable option for transporting lithium batteries is the route through the China-Kazakh Alashankou/Dostyk crossing.
"Special times call for non-standard solutions. Owing to congestion in the usual transport routes from China, there is great interest in this alternative on the market. We hope that the truck route from China will become part of our standard portfolio, which will partially facilitate the flow of goods from the whole of South-east Asia to Central Europe,” says Tomáš Holomoucký, CEO at DB Schenker.