Container transport by rail is the most dynamically developing branch of logistics. The railroad linking the Far East and Europe and comprising part of the New Silk Road is an alternative to sea and air transport from China and is reshaping the nature of import and export. Currently, rail has completely replaced air and sea as the preferred transport mode from the Far East to Europe.
Poland’s geography makes it a convenient hub along the New Silk Road route. Currently in Poland there are 3 rail stations – in Łódź, Pruszków, and Małaszewicze – that handle rail transport of goods from China. They are linked to Chinese terminals in places like Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan, Xiamen, Yiwu, and Zhengzhou. The rail lines connecting Poland with China run through Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus. They are part of a larger network of connections leading from China further west to European cities like Hamburg and London.
International transportation and logistics services provider AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG has representative offices in Poland in order to be closer to Customers and help them with operations and sales. Among AsstrA Polska Sp. z o.o.’s several sites are offices in Małaszewicze and Warsaw, which is close to the terminal in Pruszków where most container trains from China arrive.
Chinese exporters mainly bring textiles, footwear, electronic equipment, home appliances, furniture, and garden supplies to Poland. However, not all of these products end up Poland. In many cases, containers arriving by rail to Łódź, Pruszków, or Małaszewicze travel onwards into Europe – but usually by road to the end recipient’s door.
"At AsstrA, experts choose the right door-to-door delivery method from the station depending on the amount of goods: AsstrA FTL, AsstrA LTL, or AsstrA Express Delivery,” says Karol Barańczuk, AsstrA Deputy COO for Partial Loads and the company’s air freight management team leader.
“A significant proportion of the goods that come to Europe by rail are not full container shipments. Therefore best way to deliver the goods to the final recipient is LTL transport. It is an economical and convenient solution for the Customer."
As AsstrA LTL Specialist Vlad Martin explains, "The LTL delivery system is convenient and transparent. Goods arrive by rail from China at Polish stations in containers that are transshipped to road transport vehicles. Customers receive support handling all customs procedures for import, export, and transit. Corporate group experts agree the details with a railway agent and then deliver the goods to the final recipient in accordance with LTL groupage transport rules."
The transported goods usually include clothing, aircraft parts, machine parts, and car parts. The most popular destinations include France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Hungary, as well as to Poland itself.
"One of our recently implemented projects was the transport of spare parts for civil aviation aircraft from Poland to France. The order was received from a global supplier of solutions for aviation producers,” says Vlad Martin. “The average unit weight was around 600 kg with 2 pallets, each 3 meters long. However, for other shipments the weight of transported loads is not limited.
The transit time to the Customer's door varies depending on the destination. Again using France as an example, delivery takes 3 to 4 days. For Spain it takes about 4-5 days. AsstrA Clients benefit from our comprehensive LTL offerings serving destinations throughout Europe from Polish railway stations. The New Silk Road is open for business!"