The world’s largest container ship and supply vessel operator, Maersk, recently announced the launch of their new AE19 Service, the first ocean-rail combined service from Asia to Europe. The new service route addition will complement their current Asia-Europe product offering based on conventional ocean services.
The first cargo to be shipped on the new AE19 services arrived in Gdansk, Poland August 7th 2019, the cargo had been loaded less than two weeks earlier in Asia. The service is unique as it is a combination of a short-sea product, connecting several Asian origins with the Far East Russian port of Vostochniy, while the intercontinental rail crosses Russia in just 9 nine days before reaching St. Petersburg. The final leg of the service again a short-sea connection between St. Petersburg and ports in continental Europe.
Maersk Managing Director for Eastern Europe, Zsolt Katona said “We are delighted to offer this new service to our customers in Asia, Russia and Europe as a convenient and highly competitive addition to our conventional Asia-Europe products. AE19 complements our product portfolio by offering a solution with a highly attractive transit time for customers with time-sensitive cargoes, all while remaining cost-competitive.”
The new AE19 service boasts an impressive transit time (ocean and rail) from Busan to Gdańsk of just 18 days, this is more than two times faster than the conventional ocean only service on that corridor. The Gdansk to Busan eastbound transit time is 22 days, Sealand Asia provides the Asian part of the short-sea connection (to Vostochniy port), while Sealand Europe operates the European leg. One of the largest private rail operators in Russia, Modul provide the rail connection and transit customs formalities.
Russia’s biggest port operator Global Ports handle operations at terminals VSC (port of Vostochniy) and PLP (St.Petersburg).
The new AE19 service complements their already comprehensive Asia-Europe portfolio, and part of their strategic plan to develop and offer superior rail products.