COVID-19 and the Pandemic has caused immeasurable disruption of shipping which has led to a growing requirement for diversification in terms of transport down the Europe and Asia trade channel. It’s true to say that China to EU/ UK Rail Freight has had a lot of recent attention, but there is increased demand for Road Freight between China and the EU/UK.

Under this initiative, the China to Europe Road Freight service came to being in 2018, and this is now that AMCO is kickstarting their initiative to transport goods down these routes.

The door-to-door road transportation service between China and EU countries takes around 14 to 18 days, depending on the destination. Compare this to container ships which take 35 to 56 days (notwithstanding the container shortage issue), that is possibly five or six times cheaper than Air Freight which can be 6 to 16 days in transit.

The team at AMCO can get a vehicle from Shanghai to Manchuria (a distance of approximately 3100 km in three days (using team drivers), Moscow in nine days, and for the final leg Moscow to London, in five days giving us a total transit time of 17 days. AMCO Silk Road Freight follows a similar route to Rail Freight.

Belt and Road is an initiative instigated by the Chinese Government aimed at reviving the historic silk road between China, Europe and the Middle East, re-establishing trade corridors along many of the original Silk Road trade routes dating back to 114BC originally serving Chinese and Greco-Roman merchants. Belt is a reference to the Silk Road economic belt which navigates Overland from China through central Asia to continental Europe in the UK.

Whilst the Pandemic is by no means at the heart of this initiative, it is impacting with the Europe – China trade currently at an all-time high.

The proposition to transport goods these great distances by road is determined by customers who need large volumes of goods-in-demand, and the diversion of Freight due to disruption attributed to either the Pandemic or the container shortage or the extortionate cost of Air Freight. Not to mention that Rail Freight is pretty much if not fully booked.

AMCO feels that operating down the Silk Road offers their customers a real alternative for tooling machinery and components in particularly for the automotive and manufacturing supply chain.

Another advantage of this transport proposition is that the TR convention allows shipping without physical cargo inspection along the route, whereas for rail customs, cooperation for this is only between China and Kazakhstan. This obviously means that just one part of the rail route from China to Asia does not need physical cargo inspection, thus slowing the process down. Tracking Rail Freight is quite difficult where it is an accepted norm for Road Freight.

AMCO are partnering with Lithuanian Supply Chain Architects (SCA) SP and their network to pioneer this time-critical but effective route.

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