Maersk announced on Thursday an increase of up to two departures per week on its AE19 service.
The AE19 service is a combination of a short haul and intercontinental rail product between ports in Korea, China and Japan and northern European ports in Finland, Poland, Germany and Scandinavia.
Maersk’s service covers both west and east directions for dry, refrigerated and hazardous cargo.
This service aims to create more supply chain flexibility in Asia/Europe routing options in response to the impact of Covid-19.
“The pandemic has triggered some commercial bottlenecks in Europe that we can help solve by offering our customers higher levels of supply chain management, further developing rail to become a profitable, reliable and scalable mode of transport between continents, creating alternative options that appear to be crucial in crisis situations,” explains Zsolt Katona, Managing Director for Eastern Europe at Maersk.
Attracted by both competitive prices and faster transit, shippers from both Northeast Asia and Northern Europe have increased bookings on the service, “increasing AE19 volumes by approximately 75% in April, May and June in compared to before Covid-19, a trend that will likely improve in the second half of the year,” says Zsolt.
AE19 is enabled by TradeLens, a digital platform developed by Maersk and IBM, which provides shipping data directly from the source of each stakeholder in near real time while connecting this rail corridor directly to its established ecosystem of international transportation service providers.
AE19 integrates a short-distance sea connection between Asian ports in Korea, Japan or China and the port of Vostochny in the Russian Far East, followed by an intercontinental rail connection through Russia from Nakhodka to Saint Petersburg, which takes 11 days.
The last leg is another short sea connection between Saint Petersburg and ports in Finland (Helsinki and Rauma), continental Europe, such as Gdansk (Poland), Bremerhaven (Germany) or Scandinavia.
Maersk operates in 130 countries and employs approximately 80,000 people.