Kuehne + Nagel expands rail transport service between Asia and Europe
Kuehne + Nagel has expanded its rail transport service between Asia and Europe, offering shipments from northern China, Japan, South Korea and South-East Asian countries to locations in Europe for the first time ever.
The move comes just six months after the successful launch of the KN Eurasia Express rail service,
Among the new points of origin is Changchun, an industrial metropolis in northern China, which will now be connected to Hamburg with weekly departures, which it says will be particularly attractive to customers from the automotive industry.
Also for the first time ever, Kuehne + Nagel is offering shipments between Japan and South Korea as well as destinations in Europe as a combined sea and rail service.
Another new departure is the extension of the KN Eurasia Express service to include South-East Asian countries that are connected via Kuehne + Nagel's existing overland transport network in the region.
Kuehne + Nagel is the first logistics provider to offer LCL (less than container load) rail shipments between China and Russia via the central terminal in Moscow (Vorsino). As a result, more than 50 collection points in China will be linked with more than 20 destination points in Russia.
Transit times to Moscow sum up to a maximum of 24 days, approximately half the time it takes for shipments by sea to arrive. Also, Kuehne + Nagel offers the first direct link between Xian in China and Kouvola in Finland. The transit time takes approximately 14 days.
“KN Eurasia Express is a success story,” Otto Schacht, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
“Delivery times are much faster compared to seafreight, while costs are much lower than airfreight, making it an attractive product for our customers. Now we're expanding this service to include commercial centres in northern China, South Korea and South-East Asia.
“As the first logistics provider to offer consolidated LCL shipments between China and Russia, we're connecting two of the largest economies in the world.
“With all shipments via KN Eurasia Express, our customers benefit from fully transparent information about the status of their deliveries, thanks to our KN Login information platform.”
Gartner: Women in supply chain at five-year high
Women now represent a greater percentage of the supply chain workforce than at any other point in at least the past five years, according to a recent Gartner survey.
The Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, conducted by Gartner and Awesome, surveyed 223 supply chain organisations with more than $100m in annual revenue from February through to the end of March 2021.
- Women represent 2% more of supply chain workforce than in 2020
- Women now account for 42% of the workforce
- Number of women in exec-level positions declined by 2%
- Just 15% of top leadership are women (17% in 2020)
- 84% of organisations say COVID-19 did not impact efforts to advance women
It found that women now represent two per cent more of the supply chain workforce than in 2020, accounting for 42%, compared with 39% last year. Dana Stiffler, Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice, says the impact of COVID-19 on supply chain was significant, though different to other sectors.
"Contrary to other industries, supply chain’s mission-criticality during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many sectors did not reduce their workforce, but rather continued to hire and even faced talent shortages, especially in the product supply chains," she said. "This resulted in many women not only standing their ground in supply chain organisations but increasing their representation in organisations. We also recorded a record number of specific commitments and supply chain-led actions and saw existing programs starting to pay off."
Supply chain still lacks women in executive leadership
But the elephant in the boardroom remains. Though the figures present a positive step towards greater diversity and gender equality at all levels, the number of women in executive level positions declined by two per cent in the past year. Women represent just 15% of the upper echelons of supply chain leadership. Gartner did however record a rise in women at all other levels of leadership.
The vast majority (84%) of organisations surveyed said the outbreak had no discernible impact on their ability to retain and advance women. But more than half (54%) admitted that retaining mid-career women was becoming increasingly difficult. A lack of career opportunities was cited as the biggest challenge to this, while other blamed a lack of development opportunities.
Despite these challenges, companies of all sizes are becoming broadly better at gender diversity. Around a third more said they had a targeted initiative focused on attracting women and advancing their careers.
Stiffler said a push towards measurable and formal initiatives is at least pointing in the right direction: “It's encouraging to see that the larger share of this jump was for more formal targets and specific goals on management scorecards. For these respondents, there is greater accountability for results — and we see the correlation with stronger representation and inclusion showing up in pipelines.”