A top-class and festive farewell ceremony, 9,800 kilometres, 600 metres, 44 containers loaded with electronic components, lighting materials and household goods, six countries, different cultures and time zones, varied climatic zones, two transshipment points, two track widths, dozens of train driver changes, an average speed of 40 km/h pure travel time , 15 days transport time – this was our first container train from Chengdu to Vienna.
On April 12, we bid a festive farewell to the freight train in the Chinese metropolis of Chengdu, capital of the Chinese province of Sichuan, and sent it on its way on behalf of the Chengdu International Railway Port Group, DHL Global Forwarding and CMA CGM. Thirteen days later, it finally reached the Austrian border. Today we welcome it at the reception terminal, the Freight Centre Vienna South. Federal President Van der Bellen, Federal Minister for Digitisation and Business Location Margarete Schramböck, and Li Xiaosi, the Chinese Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, welcome the train together with ÖBB CEO Andreas Matthä and the board members of Rail Cargo Group, Clemens Först, Thomas Kargl and Erik Regter as well as numer
ous invited guests. Everyone watches the track on which the train is expected to arrive with anticipation. The excitement rises as the train from China approaches.
Bridge builder for efficient freight transport between Asia and Europe
Now not only does the northern Silk Road span the Eurasian continent but the door to the attractive, efficient and sustainable transport of freight between the Far East and Europe is also open. By stepping up our links with China, we are also making a decisive contribution to the further development of Austria’s export economy. In addition to the Changsha – Budapest and Chongqing – Duisburg connection, each with one round trip per week, and Taiyuan – Lugo/Italy with ad hoc trains, we are confident of being able to carry out further transport operations on this route and establishing the fourth regular, strong and high-frequency connection with China due to the more than successful rail transportation.
When speed is essential, rail is the way to go
With a journey time of less than two weeks from China to Europe, this transport route is significantly faster than that of pure sea freight, which takes at least twice as long. Giving the railway a clear advantage. China is a market that comes to Europe via various corridors. Our goal is to accelerate the Eurasian corridor traffic with new attractive logistics solutions and routes. With our first container train from Chengdu to Vienna in just 15 days, we have more than proved that this is possible. In this way, not only are we co
nsolidating our intermodal network between Asia and Europe but also offering our customers on the Eurasian continent reliable and fast logistics solutions – in an environmentally friendly manner. With this new connection, we have succeeded in bringing goods to Europe faster than ever before. In addition to end-to-end transport from a single source with shorter transport times, we are thus above all expanding our network in end-to-end logistics. Because while the freight train has reached its destination in Vienna, the containers laden with goods of the electrical and household industry have not yet done so. After the containers have been unloaded, they still have to be transported to their customers. And in line with our door-to-door philosophy, with the organisation of last-mile services we provide not only downstream logistics processes but also precision, full-service logistics solutions.