Maersk will hasten the pace of its AE19 service, which is a combination of a short-sea shipping and an intercontinental rail service between Northern European ports in Poland, Germany and Scandinavia and ports in Korea, China and Japan.

The Danish carrier has announced that trains leaving North Europe destined for the Russian Far East, via the ports of St. Petersburg and Vostochniy, have been upgraded from fortnightly to weekly and trains coming westbound are scheduled four times a week, instead of three, with immediate effect.

Maersk believes that with this service’s enhancement, it will manage to meet the increasing customer demand for Asia/Europe routing options, while it also envisages the possibility to continue scaling up the service. AE19 service was launched in July 2019 and it has steadily increased its frequencies.

“AE19 enjoys one of the highest service reliability levels among intercontinental and ocean liner services, and it is quicker than Suez routes,” highlighted Zsolt Katona, head of Maersk Eastern Europe.

The transit train crosses Russian territory in 12 days from the Baltic Sea all the way to the Russian Pacific Coast, resulting in an overall transit time between Europe and Asia of 25-30 days.

“This Russian transit has been able to stand by its schedule, delivery times and swift transit clearance in ports despite both the impact of Covid-19 and the vessel blockage of the Suez Canal. It’s creating firm ground for further expansion of transcontinental transit via Russia in the future,” added Katona.

Alexey Shilo, deputy general director of Maersk’s partner Russian Railways RZD), commented, “RZD together with Maersk will keep on working on further improvements of speed, capacity and sustainability of this joint product.”

Source: Container-News