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Overview

New transit route from China to Europe via Kaliningrad and the port of Rostock

After the explosion of coronavirus in China shipping volumes are gaining momentum again. Over the past months, trains from Germany to China have been running regularly, while significantly fewer trains from Asia arrived to Europe. The number of shipments is now growing again. It is already planned that in April 25% more trains than in March will be dispatched from China to European destinations.

Over the past 10 years, transportations to and from China have been steadily developing. In 2019 DB for the first time transported more than 100,000 TEU containers. Since 2018 all Chinese transportations of DB have been consolidated, organized and implemented by DB Cargo Eurasia with its operational office in Moscow – DB Cargo Russija.

The first test train on the new transit route Xi'an (China) - Kaliningrad - Rostock (Germany) - Duisburg (Germany) started on the 25-th of March from the terminal of Xi'an and passed through the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania to Kaliningrad by rail. After reloading at the Kaliningrad Sea Commercial Port on the 5-th of April, 49 containers with products of the automotive industry and medical supplies were shipped across the Baltic Sea to the port of Rostock. For the first time, part of the route was passed through sea. The next day the containers were distributed further from the port of Rostock: by rail to Duisburg and Verona, some of them were sent by ferry to Sweden. This transportation was organized by DB Cargo Eurasia together with UTLC ERA JSC, Kaliningrad Railway, Kaliningrad Sea Commercial Port, maritime container carriers Mann Lines Multimodal and DB Schenker.

According to the CEO of DB Cargo Russija, Mr. Uwe Leuschner, a partial route through the Baltic Sea offers customers alternatives in choosing carriers and saves time: the total transit time will be reduced by 1.5-2 days and will be about 12 days (against 14 days via Brest- Malaszewicze at the present time). In addition, the company expects the potential transportation of large volumes from China through Kaliningrad and the port of Rostock to Northern Europe, particularly to Denmark and Sweden, which are already covered by the regular ferry service.

Currently, it is planned to send up to six trains per week via new transit route, with an average amount of 41 to 50 containers per train.