Maersk doubles capacity on weekly ocean-rail service from Asia to Europe

Rail transport between Asia and Europe continues the rise in response to supply chain bottlenecks caused by COVID-19 in European markets.

Maersk doubles capacity on weekly ocean-rail service from Asia to Europe
Photo: Maersk

Plans underway to scale up the service to daily services if customers´ demand continues on the current track.

To create more supply chain flexibility in Asia/Europe routing options in response to COVID-19’s impact, Maersk is announcing an increase of up to two departures per week in its AE19 service. The AE19 service is a combination of a short-sea and intercontinental rail product between ports in Korea, China and Japan and Northern European ports in Finland, Poland, Germany and Scandinavia. The service covers both westbound and eastbound directions for dry, refrigerated and dangerous cargo.

Zsolt Katona, Managing Director, Eastern Europe, explains:

“The pandemic has triggered some trade bottlenecks in Europe that we can help solve by offering to our customers higher levels of supply chain management e.g. further developing rail into a cost efficient, reliable and scalable mode of transport between continents, creating fall back options which seems to be crucial in crisis situations.” 

Attracted by both competitive prices as well as faster transit, both North East Asia and North Europe shippers have increased bookings on the service, “boosting AE19 volumes by approx. 75% in April, May and June compared to pre-COVID-19; a trend that will likely improve in the second half of the year,” points out Zsolt.

AE19 is enabled by TradeLens, a digital platform developed by Maersk and IBM, which provides shipping data directly from the source of each party involved in near real-time while connecting this rail corridor directly to its established ecosystem of international transportation service providers.