DHL Lays Tracks For China-Turkey Rail Corridor
DHL Global Forwarding has inaugurated a new service on the southern rail corridor between China and Turkey.
The corridor occupies a critical juncture within the Silk Road Economic Belt, part of China’s proposed One Belt, One Road initiative which it estimates will generate more than $2.5 trillion in annual trade within the next ten years.
Freight travelling via the corridor departs from Lianyungang, China and traverses three Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – as well two sea transit segments and is expected to take around 14 days, depending on travelling conditions before arriving in Istanbul, with the option for immediate forwarding by truck to any Turkish city.
“Negotiating the complex transnational requirements that span the Silk Road Economic Belt is no easy task,” said Kelvin Leung, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific. ”It requires a deep understanding of the varying regulatory and infrastructural conditions in each market, robust partnerships with local-market experts and authorities, and experience in brokering cross-border connections without compromising on overall speed and efficiency. Global freight providers such as DHL have a critical role to play in making the new Silk Road an economic reality.”
The creation of the rail corridor follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between DHL and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Express (KTZ Express), Kazakhstan’s national multimodal operator, facilitating rail connectivity between Europe and China via Kazakhstan’s commercial hubs, including the newly-created Khorgos Special Economic Zone. DHL also worked very closely with China, Azerbaijan and Georgia Railways, Karvan Logistics, and RTSB Logistics alongside the governments of all three countries of transit, as well as Lianyungang’s municipal government, garnering their full support of the rail corridor’s operation.
“Trade between China and countries along the Silk Road has grown 19 percent every year on average for the past decade, and the establishment of One Belt, One Road will only further ignite these already-high volumes of economic activity,” said Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding China. “Turkey already counts China as its second-largest source of imports, and the EU as its largest export market. New corridors like the Lianyungang-Istanbul link will only further boost Turkey’s strategic importance and associated economic development as a conduit for trade between China and Europe.”
The rail corridor, which is also supported by a contingency trucking service between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, complements DHL Global Forwarding’s three existing services via its north and west multimodal corridors, which most recently expanded to connect Taiwan with Europe via China.