Kerry Logistics Network Limited has expanded its freight capability from China to South Asia in a bid to reinforce its overland transportation network in South Asia and deepen trade cooperation along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (‘CPEC’) through the launch of its first rail and road multimodal freight service from Lanzhou, China to Islamabad, Pakistan.
The service was operated by Kerry Logistics’ member company Lanzhou Pacific Logistics Corporation Limited (‘LPL’), which specialises in intermodal brokerage services across China and Central Asia. It was Kerry Logistics’ second international freight route between Lanzhou and South Asia following the launch of the freight train service from Lanzhou to Kathmandu, Nepal.
The first rail and road freight service from Lanzhou to Islamabad departed Lanzhou by block train on 23 October 2018, and travelled 3,300 km to the Kashgar Comprehensive Bonded Zone in Xinjiang. From there, goods were transferred to trucks which covered the remaining 1,200 km to Islamabad.
The journey, totalling 4,500 km and reaching altitudes of 5,000 m (16,400 ft), was completed in just 13 days, an impressive 15 days fewer than conventional ocean-road freight. The first shipment included mechanical equipment, auto parts, commodities, and snow melting agent.
Edwardo Erni, Managing Director, China and North Asia of Kerry Logistics, said, “As we continue to expand our capabilities and implement our development blueprint of capturing the opportunities along the Belt and Road trade route, we are thrilled to launch this new service that offers a significantly time-saving option to our customers. Following the establishment of a new subsidiary in Pakistan in July 2018, this new service will help to better equip us to capitalise on the increasing trade activities between China and Pakistan facilitated by the CPEC.“
The new multimodal freight solution between Lanzhou and Islamabad is set to become a regular service in 2019. Kerry Logistics introduced the new cross-border rail and trucking services from China through Kazakhstan to Caucasus and Turkey in June 2018, and has heightened its focus on the CPEC, offering freight services from multiple regions in China through Kashgar and Sost to Islamabad, Lahore and even Karachi in Pakistan through LPL.