China-Estonia trial train to probably arrive in November
2017-09-30 17:32 | BNS

  The first trial train from China to Estonia should arrive in November as the Estonian state-owned rail cargo operator EVR Cargo is to start cooperation with Swedish furniture seller IKEA in order to transport goods from China to Scandinavia, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reports.

  IKEA, which is producing furniture and furnishings in Asia, is at present transporting the goods to Europe with container ships, but in cooperation with Estonians the Swedish group is soon trying out a solution three times as fast: to send goods by train from China through Kazakhstan to Paldiski and from there by ship to the port of Kappelskar in Sweden. It is possible that the first full-length loaded trial train will arrive in Estonia already in November.

  EVR Cargo CEO Raul Toomsalu said that the prices of shipping have harmonized with the prices of rail transport and this is why the several times faster rail transport is more attractive. "While earlier, transporting by container from China to Europe cost approximately 600 dollars, then now it reaches already 1,500 dollars. The cost for a container is nearly the same as transporting by rail, only that instead of 45 days, the journey lasts 10 to 12 days," Toomsalu said.

  Estonian Railways CEO Erik Laidvee told the business daily Aripaev that as of now, the first trial train from China is to arrive in November, but was unable to confirm that the train is the IKEA train in question. "We are unable to disclose the customer before the train arrives, but we hope to carry out the first trial in November."

  Laidvee said that after that it will be possible to carry out analyses and draw conclusions. "We will handle all bottlenecks and parts of the transit chain and will also analyze fees -- whether something could be made cheaper or more effective," he said. From then on, the train would run once a week.

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