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Maersk’s First China–Georgia Block Train Arrives in Tbilisi
Shipping giant Maersk has launched a new intercontinental railway service connecting China and Georgia. The inaugural train left Xi’an in Shaanxi province on Sept. 10, 2020, and arrived in the Georgian city of Tbilisi on Oct. 10, carrying a total of 41 containers.
In a statement from Maersk, Irakli Danelia, Georgia commercial representative at A.P. Moller–Maersk, said of the new service, “We are extremely happy to manage the first ever block train shipment under a product based entirely on intercontinental rail. We arranged this special service specifically for Georgian customers, and we plan to develop block train solutions for the whole Caucasus Region.”
The new rail line adds to Maersk’s current coverage of the Caucasian republics (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia) based on ocean shipping. The city of Xi’an was the traditional starting point of the historical Silk Road land transport route, and this new direct train route will strengthen Georgia’s role in the development of the New Silk Road.
“Block train is a very important part in Maersk’s intercontinental rail service portfolio. We have made huge progress during the past years and the service has been extended to 18 corridors in 9 countries. We are seeing increasing demand for this cost-efficient, environmentally friendly mode of transportation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, with which we help our customers optimize their supply chains with resilient logistics solutions,” stated Nora Lin, head of logistics products for Greater China at Maersk.
The new service joins Maersk’s growing network of Asia–Europe transport links. Earlier in 2020, the logistics giant announced another intercontinental rail link from Xi’an to Izmit, Turkey, aiming to shorten the transit time between China and Turkey to approximately 16 days and allowing cargo to be transported from Izmit to the Black Sea as well as Eastern and Southern Europe. In October 2018, Maersk also launched a route from Mannheim in Germany to Chongqing in China, covering a distance of 11,000 kilometers and passing through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
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