Container trains from China to Europe

YHF Logistics has started a weekly service bringing containers from Chengdu in China to Lodz in Poland. The service was revealed at an opening ceremony in March 2013.

The Chinese-Polish joint-venture company behind the project is YHF Logistics.
Its “weekly service is made up of between 41 and 52 wagons carrying multi-sized containers”.

Lloyd’s Loading List.com was told that the weekly service, which was launched at the end of April, is working well and the company aims to introduce “daily frequencies from Chengdu by the end of 2013".

The train takes 14-15 days to cover the 10,000-kilometre journey through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. There are unloading points en route before the train reaches its final destination in Lodz, Poland.

Lloyd’s Loading List.com says "The service is more expensive than ocean freight but offers far shorter transit times than the 30-40 days by ship. While it can’t match the delivery lead times of air freight, rates are considerably cheaper” .  The website notes that other distribution companies see it as a useful way of shipping goods in high-value-added sectors, and cited companies interested in this development including “DHL, DB Schenker, UPS, TNT, Geodis and Hellmann”.

YHF’s logistics partner, Hatrans, claims that on-forwarding to western Europe and Russia can take place within 48 hours, from Poland. It is also expected “return” trains will be started this year with exports of branded and luxury goods from Europe.

This information is sourced from an article by Stuart Todd (31 May 2013) in Lloyd’s Loading List.com entitled New China-Europe rail freight service makes promising start.