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Maersk launches intercontinental rail services from Europe to Asia

Maersk has announced that on 28 March 2020, the first Eastbound train on its AE19 service was dispatched east from St. Petersburg port, carrying goods from Europe to Asia.

The overall transit time of the new intercontinental service from ports in North Europe to ports in Korea and Japan will be between 23 and 32 days, which is a reduction by half compared to 52-57 days via the traditional ocean route.

The train loaded with plywood and chemical products from North Europe left the FCT terminal in St. Petersburg to the terminal VSC in the port of Vostochniy in the Russian Far East (both terminals are part of Global Ports group). Upon arrival to Vostochniy, containers will be loaded on Maersk’s short-sea vessels for delivery to Korea and Japan.

Maersk launched the AE19 service in August 2019 in partnership with Russian partners Modul and Global Ports to offer a product for more time-sensitive cargoes moving from Asia to Europe, connecting the ports of Vostochniy and St. Petersburg in Russia.

“So far, the service has been used for westbound shipments from Asia to Europe only, however as the service has been experiencing steady growth since the beginning of 2020, it has further enabled shipments in the opposite direction from Europe to Asia as well. The customer demand to develop the Eastbound service, especially within the automotive, technology, chemicals and industrial verticals, has further led to the launch of this service”, said Kasper Krogh, Head of Intercontinental Rail at AP Møller – Maersk.

The next eastbound shipment on AE19 from St. Petersburg will be made on 8 April, and thereafter will be provided on a fortnightly basis.

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