On the 2nd of January the first 200 container train departed from west railway station of Yiwu to start its 12,000Km 16 day journey the route running through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London.
The Rail link will allow for European freight forwarders and manufactures to deliver their goods between Europe and China for a cheaper price then using air transport and half the time as sea transport.
The China – UK Rail line is a part of China’s ‘New Silk road’ China is looking to connect the east of China to the west of Europe into one market. This covers 60 countries, 60% of GDP and 60% of the population in the world. This Market has the potential to generate $2.2 trillion in trade annually in 10 years.
The new rail link couldn’t come at a better time for Britain especially with Brexit and Theresa May announcing that the UK cannot expect to hold onto the bits of the EU which includes the single market. However, the question has to be asked will China take advantage of the UK’s vulnerability? The ‘New silk road’ will help strengthen China’s economic and political influence in Europe. Share Tweet
The EU commission has founded two Italian public schemes to help encourage the shift from road transport to rail and to sea. The schemes are aimed to help achieve environmental and transport objectives.
Marebonus has a budget of €138 million to help shift freight transport from road to sea. This will lead to less pollution and less traffic on the roads. Majority of the budget will go to shippers to help cover the cost of extra services and upgrading existing shipping routes.
The Rail Freight scheme
The EU is aiming to spend €255 million. The majority of this money will go to subsidising rail transport operators. This will bring down the prices of rail transport and make it more appealing to freight transport companies; this will lead to lower road congestions. Also, this scheme will help the EU lower carbon emissions since rail freight transport is less polluting alternative to road freight transport.
This week we have seen a massive increase in European express enquiries for pre-Christmas deliveries. At the start of the week prices were pretty normal. As the week drew on and express operators were trying to position their vehicles to get their drivers home for Christmas, prices have soared as many European operators have been quoting jobs and factoring in running back home empty.
The skills for us to maintain our express prices at a reasonable level is to engage the right driver on the right job at the right time. Loading a foreign driver to deliver in the UK on 22nd / 23rd December will incur a high surcharge as there is no guarantee they will get a load back to their country of origin from the UK.
We look to back load as many UK drivers as we can for UK deliveries just before Christmas and as many foreign drivers as we can for European deliveries. Horses for courses. It’s not always easy getting the right driver in the right place but that’s our job and what we need to be doing for our customers. They rely on us to get the best deal for them by using our knowledge and supplier network.
We see this mad panic every year. It’s like people forget about Christmas and the fact that drivers need to get home too. The express transport market will get back to normal in the New Year and no doubt we will see a return to the madness again next year.
Don’t forget we are still offering a Money Back Guarantee on all European express van work. If we’re late, you don’t pay the rate. Still a few drivers to get home for Christmas so give us a call.
There are lots of technologies which are currently being developed, which can change freight transport forever.
Drones with a lot of development have the potential to be used in the logistics. They have the possibility of relieving roads of traffic. We could also see swarms of these drones in the skies delivering pallets!
A company called 7-Eleven has beaten Google and Amazon. They have claimed to have made 77 deliveries. Amazon look to introduce a service called Amazon Prime Air which would make deliveries from five pounds.
Advantages of Using Drones in Freight transport would be:
Drones would make deliveries/pickups from locations with poor road networks easier.
Drones would take pressure off the roads in inner cities which will lower the chances of congestion.
The possibility of driver-less cars are coming ever closer and there is nothing to say that we wouldn’t see driver-less trucks.
Advantages of using Driver-less Vehicles in freight transport would be:
From driver-less vehicles we will see savings in labour, fuel, insurance and vehicle utilisation. The savings altogether are estimated to be around £34 billion.
We will also see less delays on road transport since driver-less trucks wont need breaks.
Electric cars are becoming more common on the roads. Development on electric trucks has begun. Mercedes-Benz has created the first fully electric truck which has a range of 200Km. The biggest problem with electric truck is that they will take a long time to charge.
Advantages of electric trucks in freight transport:
Its cheaper to charge a truck then fill it up with petrol.
Trucks are big emitters of Co2. The use of electric trucks will not emit any Co2. No emissions will lead to lower road tax.