Maersk upgrades Asia to Europe ocean-rail service

Maersk’s Asia-Northern Europe ocean-rail service, previously offered on monthly basis in west-bound direction only, has been upgraded to a fortnightly basis, both export from Asia to Europe and return from Europe to Asia.

Maersk’s Asia-Northern Europe ocean-rail service, previously offered on monthly basis in west-bound direction only, will now be provided fortnightly both export from Asia to Europe and return from Europe to Asia. This is expected to help many customers who are currently facing difficulties with their imports/export logistics, due to COVID-19. Maersk recently announced that its combined Ocean and Rail service, AE19, will now be offered on a regular basis for both directions through close cooperation with Pantos Logistics. Customers would practically see the benefits of weekly service combining Maersk’s fortnightly AE19 service and Pantos Logistics.


AE19 managed to successfully position itself as an attractive alternative to Ocean and Rail services for customers who are currently experiencing problems with transporting their cargo, such as blank sailing, lack of containers, and sky-rocketing air rates, due to COVID-19.


The entire journey, starting from Busan to Vostochy in a vessel, followed by Vostochy to St. Petersburg by rail, takes a mere 16 days. In this way, AE19 can offer highly competitive transit times for customers. Following a successful pilot launch of the West-bound service last August, the recent launch of the bi-directional service has also been highly successful. Transit times from South Korea and Japan to Northern Europe have been reduced to 23-32 days from the previously 52-57 days through intermodal transportation. Jason Park, head of Maersk Korea, adds: “Frequent cancellations and congestions in ports and airports around the world due to COVID-19 have made the usual Ocean and Air services less attractive for customers. Evidently, AE19’s volumes have increased by approximately 30% compared to pre-COVID-19, compensating for the reduced demand for our other services.”


The upgrade to a fortnightly service is proving to have a positive impact in attracting more customers for Maersk. As regularity, timeliness, and cost-friendliness are all equally important factors to consider for many customers, AE19 gains its competitiveness by offering lower rates than Air, while still ensuring a faster transit time compared to Ocean for their high-value, large-volume cargos.

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