Maersk has announced a new Asia-Europe rail-sea freight route that would bypass Russia and Belarus.
The Middle Corridor service, which will connect China and Europe in around 40 days, comes after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the China-Europe rail network, the Poland-Belarus border, and operations at significant hubs.
The freight route departs from several points in China and travels via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Romania. The lifestyle, automotive, and home appliances industries were the first to make use of the rail-sea freight route, which started in China last month.
“Aiming to create agile and creative solutions to our evolving customer’s needs, this revamped service comes at the perfect time to help ease current logistics woes,” said Maia Parlagashvili, Global Product Manager for Intercontinental Rail at Maersk.
“We have listened to our customers and developed a solution that provides them an alternative and eco-friendly intermodal connection between Asia and Europe. Over 90% of the Middle Corridor rail service is electrified.”
The route transports containers by rail to Aktau after crossing the Khorgos border between China and Kazakhstan, where they are loaded onto a barge bound for Baku, Azerbaijan.
Containers are then railed to APM Terminals Poti in Georgia, where they are loaded onto a feeder vessel bound for Constanta, Romania. From there, the goods are then railed to numerous locations around Europe.
“The Corridor has sufficient open capacity, allowing our customers to strengthen their supply chain resilience, by having alternative route to Ocean and Air services.” added Maia Parlagashvili.