First rail shipment from Helsinki to Yokohama

One more country joins Japan – Europe multimodal route

2021/04/21 at 8:59 AM

The Japan – Europe multimodal route is growing in popularity among logistics providers. Finnish company Nurminen Logistics organised the first shipment of containers from Helsinki to Yokohama. As a result, Finland became the fourth European country to join this multimodal, sea-rail, corridor.

After more than a thirty-year break, Finland and Japan have reconnected with a rail freight service. It was arranged by Nurminen Logistics, the Finnish company focused on developing foreign train services, and its Russian partners, RZD Logistics and FESCO. For the first shipment, the Finnish logistics provider loaded 41 40-foot containers. “This is a block train for one customer, but due to the high demand for exports and imports to Japan, we believe that more trains will start opening between Finland and Japan. The train transports products of a large Swedish company”, said Marjut Linnajärvi, Sales Director at Nurminen Logistics.

The Helsinki – Yokohama service consists of two legs. On 15 April, the container train departed from Vuosaari freight station on the eastern outskirts of Helsinki towards the Russian Far East. After a twelve-day journey via the Trans-Siberian Railway, the boxes will arrive at Vostochny Port in the Nakhodka Bay where they will be transhipped to a vessel sailing to Yokohama. To this end, the FESCO line service will be applied.

Pioneering countries

Owing to the Helsinki – Yokohama intermodal connection, Finland joined the Japan – Europe multimodal corridor. As for the pioneering European country, it was Poland that launched the first regular service from Yokohama to Brzeg-Dolny, 30 kilometres from Wrocław, in September 2019. PCC Intermodal is a stakeholder of this freight link from the Polish side. In December 2019 there was organised another delivery from Japan. That time the final destination in Europe was Hamburg, the German principal intermodal hub. The sea-rail shipments from Japan to Poland and Germany via the Trans-Siberian Railway take from 19 to 22 days.

Another trailblazing country is the United Kingdom. In February 2020 Maersk successfully tested the multimodal (sea-rail-sea) delivery from Yokohama to the British port of Felixstowe. The containers were reloaded twice: at the Vostochny Port and the Port of Saint Petersburg. According to the Danish shipping line, the entire delivery time between Yokohama and Felixstowe takes around 42 days, including 11 days by rail, which is similar to the sea services. Maersk regards this route as an alternative option for the customers.

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