Maersk’s Asia-Northern Europe ocean-rail service, previously offered on monthly basis in west-bound direction only, will now be provided fortnightly both export from Asia to Europe and return from Europe to Asia.
According tot he logistics giant, this is expected to help many customers who are currently facing difficulties with their imports/export logistics due to Covid-19.
Maersk recently announced that its combined ocean and rail service, AE19, would be offered on a regular basis for both directions through close cooperation with Pantos Logistics.
AE19 has positioned itself as an alternative to ocean and rail services for customers who are currently experiencing problems with transporting their cargo, such as blank sailing, lack of containers, and rising air rates, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The entire journey, starting from Busan to Vostochy in a vessel, followed by Vostochy to St. Petersburg by rail, takes 16 days.
Following a successful pilot launch of the west-bound service last August, the recent launch of the bi-directional service has also been 'highly successful', according to Maersk.
Transit times from South Korea and Japan to northern Europe have been reduced to 23-32 days from the previous 52-57 days through intermodal transportation.
“Frequent cancellations and congestions in ports and airports around the world due to Covid-19 have made the usual ocean and air services less attractive for customers,' explained Jason Park, head of Maersk Korea. 'Evidently, AE19’s volumes have increased by approximately 30 per cent compared to pre-Covid-19, compensating for the reduced demand for our other services.”
For customers who are used to using either only ocean or only air services originally, AE19 now offers an option to diversify their transportation routes as the pandemic continues.
Moreover, because the rail service only operates within Russia, customers can also avoid border congestions that are typically associated with intercontinental transportation within the route and expect a more seamless service overall.
Key client manager, Sung Don Yang said “AE19 service attracts many customers by allowing them to manage transportation risk, providing cost competitiveness and connecting various origins and destinations.”