When it comes to the best mode of shipping a containerload of clothing from China to Spain, air, rail, and ocean all come to mind. But Dutch third-party logistics (3PL) giant Ceva Logistics AG says it has developed a better way to move freight between Europe and Asia: truck.
With echoes of the ancient "silk road" trade route, Ceva said last month that a truck hauling 15,430 pounds of garments destined for a global retailer in Spain had completed the 8,450-mile trip from China to Spain in just 16 days. The shipment departed from South China and passed through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France. Despite multiple border-crossings, the load required no import/export inspections after being sealed at a customs station at Khorgos on the China-Kazakhstan border, the company said.
Ceva inaugurated the "Highway to the West" road service in November 2018, when it dispatched a truck from China to Poland. It is now extending the service, which the company describes as an attractive alternative to air and rail transport. "Compared to air transport, the [China-Europe service's] cost is more than 40 percent lower," said Kelvin Tang, director of road and rail at Ceva Logistics North Asia, in a statement. "And it's at least 10 days faster than rail transport."
The Ceva China-Europe trucking service will be operated as a round trip twice a week, with exact departure and destination details dictated by the customer's needs. In addition to the FCL (full container load) service, Ceva Logistics North Asia will also launch LCL (less-than-containerload) service this June, the firm said.