In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, international maritime transport is facing difficulties. Rail service is being sought by many customers to transport goods from Vietnam to China and from there on to Europe. With the advantage of an efficient international rail connection system, intermodal rail transport is thriving. Freight trains usually arrive at destination stations on time with reasonable costs. Cargo transport by train has grown considerably in recent times even as passenger transport has declined due to COVID-19. The railways are trying to maintain the supply chain during this epidemic.
The first freight train to Belgium has departed from Vietnam’s capital
Vietnam Railways (VNR) on July 20 added a new rail freight link from Vietnam to Belgium. Its first train departed from Yen Vien station, Hanoi, and will arrive at Liege City in Belgium. Then, the carried containers will be delivered to the Dutch city of Rotterdam by lorries. That train carried 23 containers with such goods as garments, textiles and leather shoes. The second train will depart on July 27 carrying electronic products. During the journey, the trains will stop at Zhenzhou City of China’s Henan province. It will connect to the Asia-Europe train to reach its destination. The total estimated time for each entire journey will be from 25 to 27 days. The third one will be on August 3.
Vietnam’s vision with European partners
This is the first container freight train operated by Rail Transport and Trade Joint Stock Company (Ratraco) in conjunction with the Dennish firm Maersk. Ratraco has tied up with forwarders in various countries to provide logistics services to customers using the new train to transport goods. VNR is providing freight train services between Vietnam and China. These services also transit to Russia, Europe, ASEAN and Central Asian countries. The transport firm provides full logistics services to customers. Ratraco and Maersk are planning eight trips per month departing from Vietnam.
The successful organisation of the train from Vietnam to Belgium is very meaningful, especially with the EVFTA. It will open up rail transport routes going deeper into Europe, supporting the supply chain. There have already been other existing ones going to Germany and Poland.
Sources of information include Vietnam+ and VNExpress.