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DHL, RCG sign MOU to establish new rail route across six countries

Published 16 May 2018

DHL Global Forwarding has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Austrian Federal Railways freight division Rail Cargo Group (RCG) to set up new rail route across six countries, tracing the Silk Road Economic Belt.

The companies seek to develop an intermodal rail network between Austria and China, tapping into rising trade along China's Silk Road Economic Belt between Europe and Asia.

The partnership has extended the Belt and Road network with the launch of new direct route between Chengdu and Vienna.

They have started 600m container's journey from Chengdu's Qingbaijiang Railway Station to the Vienna South Freight Centre.

Part of DHL's Asia-Europe-Asia multimodal network, the new route is said to connect Chengdu to Vienna in 15 days  by travelling 9,800km and crossing six countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Austria.

DHL Global Forwarding Austria managing director Christoph Wahl said: "We are delighted with this new direct connection between Austria and China. Austria's economic relations with China are growing steadily and at the same time Vienna is an important hub for trade flows to and from Eastern and Southern Europe.”

As per terms of the deal, the partnership will work together to expand rail freight capacity and develop alternative routes to existing China-Europe connections by using RCG's infrastructure and expertise on the trans-Kazakh routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt.

DHL will offer door-to-door services, including pre and on-carriage trucking between Qingbaijiang and other parts of China, as well as Vienna South Freight Centre, other European rail stations in its network and customers' final destinations for delivery.

The new route will also sustain growth in high-value exports between China and Austria, as one-trillion yuan industrial cluster in Chengdu is expected to be operational by 2022.

The cluster will focus on biomedicine, automotive equipment, intelligent manufacturing and e-commerce services.

Rail containers on DHL's multimodal network will be provided with a range of options, including monitored temperature control, real-time tracking, fully-managed customs clearance and consolidation and enhanced security.

Rail Cargo Group board of directors member Thomas Kargl said: "This direct connection offers fast, efficient and sustainable multimodal capacity supporting high-growth sectors that will bring immense benefits to both countries and continents.”

Image: DHL and Rail Cargo Group extended the Belt and Road network with new direct route between Chengdu and Vienna. Photo: courtesy of Deutsche Post AG.