Logistics agent EMO Trans first taped into the Vietnamese market 2015, offering air and ocean freight transports. But only recently, the company started railing goods across the vast transcontinental land bridge connecting Southeast Asia and Europe. A move that paid off so far.
Since October 2021, EMO Trans offers Vietnamese shippers and their European clients rail solutions linking Hanoi with central and western Europe. This is a trip of more than 11,000 km taking 25 to 30 days if all goes well. The product, says Asia trade lane manager Niklas Bergmann, has been surprisingly well accepted by the market and is enjoying considerable demand. There are still some hiccups, especially at the Vietnamese-Chinese border. But apart from such obstacles, the trains are running according to expectations, even in war-struck times like these.
Hubbing in Hanoi
The entire Vietnamese exports are first brought to a sorting center in Hanoi, where they are consolidated and railed to Chongqing afterwards. After arrival, the rail cars are coupled to cargo trains bound for Europe taking either the norther route via Siberia or the southern leg crossing Kazakhstan.
“Both options are still functioning well,” resumes the manager. But this might change over night in insecure times like these.
However, at EMO-Trans the management looks beyond the current conflicts.
“We are considering combining rail and ocean services by offering the market to sail Vietnamese shipments bound to the U.S. from Hamburg to the U.S. East Cost, namely Charleston, Savannah, or New York,” announces Mr. Bergmann. In view of the mega traffic jams at ports like Long Beach at the U.S. West Coast, this is still a faster route compared to transpacific ocean traffic, the manager holds.
When it comes to transcontinental freight trains, the logistics company has been in business for a long time. This is demonstrated by its dense network between Europe and China, where EMO offers customers a wide range of connections and loading options. “We are pretty well settled there, which does not mean that we cannot improve services or runs here and there.”
Vietnam, in contrast, is fairly new on EMO’s map, complementing the China services. “The country is experiencing a production spree, people are well trained, very business minded, and used to work hard, which makes it increasingly attractive for our company to wave our flag over there,” Niklas reasons.
At the same time, he admits that freight trains between the Far East and Europe have not always run smoothly in the past two years. There have been significant congestions due to high demand, which have lengthened transit times and made transports more expensive.
Congestions in ocean freight have again increased demand for Eurasian rail solutions in recent months. Conversely, major logistics players have meanwhile quit railing shipments across Russian and Belarus territory based pm political reasons.
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