Maersk’s shipment of 40 containers arrived in Felixstowe, UK, on March 2, after leaving Yokohama, Japan, in January and having crossed Russia both by land and by sea.
This first product, operated in conjunction with rail provider Modul, is part of Maersk’s AE19 service that has connected Asia and Europe via the Trans-Siberian railway and the ports of Vostochniy and Saint Petersburg since 2019.
“Since its inception two years ago, this is the first time that our AE19 services have the full-size container train shipped with goods solely from Japan,” said Zsolt Katona, director of Maersk Eastern Europe.
According to the company, the transit from Asia to Europe via Russia is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to shipping goods through the Suez Canal, including for sea routes such as Japan to the UK.
“We are confident that the progress we jointly made on the AE19 expansion last year, together with Russian Railways and our partners Modul, will continue the growth trajectory of Trans-Siberian transit in 2021,” added Katona.
“This Maersk train service to transport goods from Japan is a shining example of synergies between sea and rail transport. Russian Railways is fully committed to continuing to provide our international customers with the highest standards of service, speed and safety on this transcontinental route,” commented Alexey Shilo, deputy director of Russian Railways.
Transit shipments from Japan to Europe were one of the largest container flows through the Trans-Siberian Railway 30 years ago.
Today, the AE19 service is helping to reopen this important transit route for carriers in Asia and Europe.
AE19 now offers three weekly departures and primarily carries goods between Northeast Asia and Northern Europe.
Due to the current pressure on the oceanic networks of Asia and Europe, the shipping company expects that transit shipments between Japan and Europe through the Trans-Siberian operation in AE19 will continue to expand in 2021.