Maersk has made a sea and rail service, which connects shippers in Asia with ports in northern Europe, a permanent weekly fixture as customer demand rises, according to a company release.
Launched in August 2019, the so-called AE 19 service ships containers from various Asian export ports to Vostochny in Russia’s far east, where they are transferred to rail for an 11-day journey to St Petersburg.
The final leg of the voyage involves containers going back on to the sea for the final shortsea connection between St Petersburg and European ports.
In March 2020, the service was also launched in the eastbound direction.
Zsolt Katona, managing director of Eastern Europe at Maersk, attributed the continuation of the service to “increased interest from our customers, who appreciate its attractive transit times and cost competitiveness.”
The Danish carrier said the AE19 was particularly attractive to shippers requesting faster transit times compared with ocean-only products and significant cost savings versus air freight.
It added that the product also allowed customers to avoid congestion at border crossings and offers fast-track options for transit in Russia backed by its blockchain-based platform TradeLens.