Leading multimodal forwarder, Davies Turner, has reported that its fixed-day, weekly rail import service for less than container load (LCL) cargoes from China is consistently delivering quicker transits than expected.

The service offers a competitive alternative to air freight, the firm argues, with considerably faster transit times compared to ocean freight.

Head of supply chain services, Tony Cole, said: “Having reviewed the statistics for our Express China Rail import service for the first five months of 2019, the scheduled transit time from the Wuhan rail hub to our Dartford depot has been beaten on 16 out of 22 weeks.”

Although the scheduled transit time from Wuhan to Davies Turner’s Dartford depot is 22 to 24 days, it has been recording transits of 19 or 20 days with a record transit of 18 days achieved twice in May.

With the majority of Chinese factories being situated inland and away from the main ports, Wuhan CFS Rail Terminal is, Mr Cole suggests, ideally located in central China.

The service sees containers carried by rail from Wuhan direct to Duisburg in Germany. They are then trucked under bond to the port of Rotterdam and transported by ferry to Purfleet, near Dartford before being taken, again by truck, to Davies Turner’s main distribution centre to be discharged, customs cleared and delivered.

Reducing the possibility of delays, offering a competitive price and strengthening security has, the firm claims, made the service very popular with customers, as confirmed by 65% of bookings coming from repeat business.

For more details of the Wuhan-Dartford service, see www.daviesturner.com.

Last reviewed 10 July 2019