January 17th, 2017 - In a brilliant new move, railway operator Far East Land Bridge has teamed up with Euro-BRICS Consulting to transport the first ever railway shipment of Swiss dairy products to China.
The products that were shipped included raclette cheese, fondue cheese, milk chocolate and prepared milk. The shipment departed from Duisburg, Germany, one of FELB’s main rail stations, and made its way via direct trains to Chongqing, China. It then made its way to Quingdao by truck transport.
There were two main obstacles that needed to be tackled to make this shipment possible.
The first was the task of keeping the dairy products cool and refrigerated during the trip. For this, 45' reefer containers, equipped with a diesel aggregate, were used. They are specially designed containers that have a temperature maintaining system that circulates cool air from the bottom of the container. The system is designed to refrigerate when necessary as well as maintain a steady temperature. This was crucially important when dealing with the winter cold of Russia along the route used.
The second and most important obstacle that needed to be addressed was the issue of dealing with eastbound customs from Europe to Asia.
"Owing to Russian sanctions on foodstuffs coming from the European Union, we had to forward documents to the Russian customs in advance to ensure no misunderstandings arise at the border with Russia and the train is not stopped. Swiss products are not subject to Russian sanctions against the EU," says Thomas Kargl, CEO of Far East Land Bridge.
In addition, the consulting company Euro-BRICS Consulting has been monitoring and ensuring safe import of goods into China: "When importing foodstuffs into China, there are several laws and regulations to comply with. Smooth importation is only possible by optimally preparing customs clearance and all necessary certificates," says Tufan Khalaji, Managing Director of Euro-BRICS Consulting. "After the successful launch, we expect a sharp rise in imports of foodstuffs from Switzerland to China," Tufan Khalaji adds.
An agreement with the Russian railway system RZDL/RZD Logistics (a shareholder in the company) allows FELB’s containers to transit over the wide gauge sector (Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) with minimal internal stoppages and custom checks, and no diversions.
FELB offers an attractive alternative to sea freight and air freight between China, South Korea and Europe in both directions. “The company‘s unique transport product consists of a door-to-door service including the provision of containers,” informs Mr. Kargl.
This most recent transportation of Swiss dairy products is just one of many new developments that FELB has made in the past few years. They plan to further decrease transportation times and develop rail logistics between Asia and Europe as a reasonable and attractive option for cargo logistics.