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Alternate, non-Russian rail-sea offerings from China to Europe emerge

Intercontinental rail cargo between Asia and Europe has suffered an enormous shock in the near three months since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Coming up with a solution is Danish carrier Maersk, which has debuted a new Middle Corridor rail-sea offering through Central Asia avoiding Russia.

Departing from various locations in China, the new service connects China and Europe via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Romania in about 40 days.

After passing the border of Khorgos between China and Kazakhstan, containers arrive by rail to the station of Aktau where they are loaded on a barge to Baku in Azerbaijani. From there containers are railed to APM Terminals Poti, Georgia, where they are being loaded on a feeder vessel to Constanta in Romania, a port that has been transformed by the war in Ukraine both for containers and dry bulk. From Constanta, Maersk then takes the cargo by rail to various destinations across European countries.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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