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IRS: Bridging the gap between China and Spain 27.11.2014 01:48
St. Gallen, 26 November. IRS InterRail Services GmbH, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, has successfully launched another new product in its China-Europe traffics, in cooperation with the Chinese Railways and DB Intermodal. On November 18, the first container block train between Yiwu in the coastal province of Zhejiang, East China, and Madrid, the capital of Spain, departed for Spain, pulling 30x40‘ HC TBJU containers.
Along the 13,000 kilometer route, the train goes from Yiwu to Xinjiang in West China and then via Kazakhstan – Russia – Belarus Poland – Germany – France to Spain; so far the longest distance in the China-Europe overland traffics. The transit time is scheduled to be 19 to 21 days. “All partners involved aim at the fastest possible handling, so that we will surely not need to exhaust the 21-day limit”, says IRS Managing Director Tufan Khalaji. “So far, we are on schedule.”
The new IRS product in the China-Europe rail traffics addresses a market segment that has barely been tapped so far for the Europe-Asia land bridge: so called small consumer goods. Yiwu is the world’s biggest wholesale trading center for such goods. “The product palette there is enormous, as is the quantity of the single export products”, says Khalaji. “Thus, on this first train, we have, to give an example, one full container load of spinning tops for kids, or another one with small cutting tools. Which means that, necessarily, the demands on distribution are high.” To master these, IRS cooperates with the affiliate M&M Militzer & Münch and its Spanish cooperation partner TransNatur.
As has been planned so far, starting in 2015, two trains per month are going from China to Europe. Whether in future Madrid or maybe a German location will serve as a hub for the end-distribution, remains to be decided.
For China, the train is important in many respects. It was the first train to pass the