New freight service begins along New Silk Road

November 30, -0001 Maria Theresa Dalagan, contributor

 Freight has moved along the New Silk Road as TMA Logistics has invested in the project. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Freight has moved along the New Silk Road as TMA Logistics has invested in the project. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Amsterdam-based TMA Logistics has officially unveiled its investment in the New Silk Road Initiative, The Handy Shipping Guide reports. This investment is shown as a new rail freight service in the form of a direct rail freight connection between Yiwu, Zhejiang province in China and the Amsterdam Container Terminal in the Netherlands.

TMA Logistics is a joint venture between Dutch companies TMA Holdings and Hutchison Ports. The first train is taking its first journey on a railroad than spanned 11,000 kilometers, bringing the pilot journey to about 16 days. It began March 7, 2018.

Train cars expected from the railroad’s first multimodal movement will carry various products, mostly Dutch-made machinery, technical equipment, mineral fuels, pharmaceuticals and chemicals for the local traders of Yiwu and nearby towns.

With TMA Logistics as the latest logistics company to throw its hat onto the Silk Road, enthusiasm was evident from Managing Director Gerben Matroos’ comments. “The intermodal connections we have by road, barge, short sea shipping and the railhead at Amsterdam Container Terminal make it the ideal gateway for this traffic, enabling us to collect and distribute goods across North Europe and UK for transport by rail to and from China,” he said.

The Silk Road Initiative, otherwise known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, has been dubbed one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects today for its focus to expand trade in the Eurasia region through transportation-based infrastructure. One of the earliest reported endeavors to expand the initiative to Europe was when Kaola.com made it possible for European products to be transported to China. But compared to the TMA Logistics’ effort, this rail-based service hopes to develop a market in Southwestern Europe.

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Amsterdam Container Terminal described their railhead as one spanning into three 700-meter-long tracks. This resulted in various intermodal distribution options that include direct connection to the Chinese routes. Matroos added, “Amsterdam Container Terminal provides a unique location as the start and end-point for this important overland connection with China. TMA Logistics is well-placed to serve both current and new multimodal markets and to provide and extend full supply chain services.”

The official launch of the Amsterdam Container Terminal train service was hosted by Austrian company Nunner Logistics. Nunner Logistics has operated in about 25 locations in Europe. As one of the major promoters of Silk Road logistics projects in the region, they have confirmed their status as official sponsor of the upcoming event entitled “Silk Road Gateway Poland” in Wroclaw, Poland. It will discuss the Silk Road as the “game changer in east-west intercontinental freight transport.” While the Silk Road will take centerstage for the focal point of discussions, it will have a “strong focus on the logistical challenges faced by rail freight stakeholders operating in and out of Poland.”

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