May 17, 2020

DHL launches second China-Europe multi-modal link

Freight Forwarding
Freddie Pierce
2 min
The new service offers cost and CO2 reductions
DHL has introduced a second road/rail multi-modal routing option for its overland service connecting Asia and Europe. Customers based in Chengdu can no...

DHL has introduced a second road/rail multi-modal routing option for its overland service connecting Asia and Europe. Customers based in Chengdu can now board DHL’s once-a-week service, which departs every Friday from Chengdu to Europe along China’s West Corridor rail line through Kazakhstan and via DHL’s intermodal hub in Małaszewicze, Poland.

The new weekly service is in addition to DHL’s current daily service offering, which departs from Shanghai and runs along the trans-Siberian North Corridor– with a transit time difference of up to 8 days. In turn, the new service also offers greater cost and CO2 emission reductions.

Kelvin Leung, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding, said: “Customers are increasingly looking to DHL to handle their shipments between China and Europe and demand for our original daily rail/road multi-modal service out of Shanghai has increased substantially since we launched it in 2011. This prompted us to seek ways to grow and enhance this service not only to cope with rising demand but to prepare ourselves for future demand as well.”

According to DHL, the current success of its road/rail multi-modal service is down to its ‘pioneering and unique features as well as its ability to meet the growing demand for flexible and environmentally friendly solutions in the market’.

“DHL is the only forwarder offering regular, daily rail departures to and from China via our intermodal hub in Małaszewicze, Poland. We provide a true door-to-door service by picking up goods from any location in China and offering last mile delivery by truck or rail to anywhere in Europe out of Małaszewicze via DHL EUROCONNECT,” explained Leung. “Now, we can offer more capacity between China and Europe thanks to the additional weekly service along the West Corridor.”

One of the most important distribution centers in western China, Chengdu is a hub for electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metallurgy and processed food production. The city is expected to become one of China’s economic powerhouses over the next decade.

Steve Huang, CEO, China, DHL Global Forwarding, said: “Chengdu’s exports exceeded €23 billion in 2012, up more than 30% from 2011, and many of our own multinational customers in the electronics and automotive sectors are based there. Chengdu was therefore the choice origin/destination for us after Shanghai as we looked at growing and enhancing our multi-modal portfolio linking Asia – particularly China – and Europe. This also bolsters China’s ‘Go West’ economic development strategy which is already in full swing here.”


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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 


Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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