Feature, Forwarding, Freight News, Rail

China to Dartford in 17 days – updated

[ April 3, 2020   //   ]

Freight forwarder Davies Turner says that its direct weekly intermodal container rail freight service from China to the UK, which re-started in mid-March has broken its existing record transit time, arriving at its regional distribution centre in Dartford a week ahead of schedule.
Tony Cole, head of supply chain services said: “While air freight and ocean freight shipments face significant capacity and schedule issues, the first consol container that left China after we restarted our direct Express China Rail service into the UK in March arrived and was unpacked at our Dartford freight hub after just 17 days.
“That is several days or a full week ahead of the scheduled transit time from the Xi’an rail hub to our Dartford depot of 24 days, and beats the previous record achieved last year of 18 days.”
The weekly service departs the Xi’an rail hub, directly into Duisburg in Germany. Containers are then trucked under bond to the nearby port of Rotterdam and transported by ferry to Purfleet, near Dartford for on-carriage by truck to Davies Turner’s distribution centre, where they are discharged, customs cleared and the goods delivered. To make pricing more comprehensible for air freight uses, Davies Turner is also quoting per kilo rates.
Cole adds: “We moved one 40 ft groupage container on the first service in mid-March; but this has already risen to two on subsequent departures. Such is the demand in the market, I believe it could rise to three per week very soon, in addition to full container loads.”
Philip Stephenson, chairman of Davies Turner added: “I believe that the impact of Covid-19 will push many shippers to rethink their supply chains, and that could well see a lot more Asia-Europe air and ocean freight traffic moving permanently to the rail freight option.”