Freight trains will run daily from Germany to China from November following successful trials, transporting automotive parts via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
DB Schenker Rail Automotive, part of German rail operator Deutsche Bahn, is managing the transports from Leipzig to Shenyang in northeastern China on behalf of BMW.
A train loaded with 40 containers departed from DB’s Leipzig-Wahren transshipment terminal on 29 September, the fourth to begin the 11,000km journey to BMW’s Shenyang plant in the Liaoning province. From late November, trains will set out from Leipzig once a day.
With a transit time of 23 days, the direct trains are more than twice as fast as the alternative of maritime transport followed by transport to the Chinese hinterland.
The route reaches China via Poland, Belarus and Russia. DB Schenker Rail cooperates with partner rail companies in each country to oversee the trains. The containers have to be transferred by crane to different gauges twice: first to Russian broad gauge at the Polish-Belarusian border and then back to standard gauge at the Russian-Chinese border in Manzhouli.
DB Schenker Logistics has set up a new logistics centre in northern Leipzig to supply BMW plants in Shenyang and Rosslyn, South Africa, with auto parts. The containers are loaded at the logistics centre and transported by road to the transshipment terminal.
Some 8,000 different components from BMW supplier plants are received, packaged and loaded onto containers according to delivery requirements in the logistics centre’s warehouse area. Sheet metal parts are also treated in Leipzig for maritime transport through different climate zones. Once the centre is operating at full capacity, around 50 containers will be able to be loaded daily.