A NEW rail line for container cargo linking Suzhou via Inner Mongolia's border checkpoint Manzhouli will run to Poland has officially started operation, Xinhua reports.
This is the third container railway launched in China after the Chongqing, Xinjiang, Germany line as well as the Wuhan, Xinjiang, Czech line.
The new route extends across Siberia through Russia and into Belarus, covering 11,800 kilometres and is said to cut logistics costs for shippers from the Pearl River Delta.
Initially, transits will be 18 days, but there are plans to shorten that from 14 to 16 days. The new railway is currently only available for exports but will apply for import approval in the future.
The advantage is speed, taking half the time of ocean freight, while the cost is much lower than air freight, and thus, it is argued that rail is the most cost-efficient.
According to Far East Land Bridge Ltd, the Austrian Trans-Siberian rail operator, exports from Samsung and LG's Suzhou factory have grown to 8,500 TEU per year, but as Suzhou is short of international railways, these manufacturers have had to move their cargo to Shanghai, resulting in high cost and longer transit times.
Asian Shippers News