DB Schenker said Tuesday it has successfully tested the use of a common consignment note for rail freight shipments between China and Europe.
The first container train dispatched from China by DB Schenker under the common consignment note arrived in Germany this week.
“Once the procedure is introduced on regular services, it would then be possible to assure the customer of a shorter journey time,” the logistics company said. “Trains currently arriving in Duisburg from Chongqing in China’s hinterland require 18 days for the journey – which is half the time required when shipping freight by sea.”
DB Schenker said it provided the service for a consumer electronics manufacturer that has been sending container trains for two years now from Chongqing along the approximately 11,000-kilometer route through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to Germany.
DB Schenker and the rail operator YuXinOu (Chongqing) Logistics Co., a joint venture, had overall responsibility for the preparation and completion of the test. Together with Trans Eurasia Logistics GmbH, a joint venture between DB Schenker parent Deutsche Bahn and RZD, DB Schenker has been pushing for the introduction of a single consignment note for the entire journey and will now be one of the first companies able to use this procedure on this route.
“The shorter transit time that is now possible will give new impetus to the Eurasian Land Bridge and allows us to recommend ourselves to our customers as an innovative, strong and reliable partner,” says Karl-Friedrich Rausch, member of the management board of DB Mobility Logistics AG, which is responsible for the Transportation and Logistics Division.
The primary goal of the common consignment note is to reduce time spent at border crossings, with a corresponding reduction in provision and transit times.
“The simplification of freight documents similar to the situation in air and ocean freight is one of the most important measures now being introduced to further reduce the journey time significantly between China and Europe,” DB Schenker said. “Until now, two separate consignment notes have been required for rail shipments of this kind. The simplification also opens up the possibility of using an electronic consignment note in future.”
DB Schenker spokesman Bernd Weiler said, in general, rail shipments from China to Europe are half the cost of air freight. However, price depends on individual negotiations and is dependent on volume commitments, so that a shipper requesting a single move wouldn’t get the same rate as one committing to five trains a week. - Eric Johnson