A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) has said it has launched its first block train service between China and Georgia as it improves its end-to-end supply chain offering, the first such product developed specifically for the needs of Georgian imports.
On 4th October 2020, the first train from Xi’an (Shaanxi province), China arrived in Tbilisi, inaugurating the new rail connection, which compliments Maersk’s current coverage of the Caucasian republics (Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia), based on Ocean shipping products.
“We are extremely happy to manage the first ever block train shipment under a product based entirely on intercontinental rail. We arranged this special service specifically for Georgian customers, and we plan to develop block train solutions for the whole Caucasus Region”, commented Irakli Danelia, Georgia Commercial Representative at A.P. Moller – Maersk.
In addition to providing yet another connection between Asia and Europe, further expansion of the product will also strengthen Georgia’s role in the New Silk Road development. Xi’an has traditionally been the starting point of the Silk Road, the land routes connecting East and West for over thousand years.
“We look forward to seeing the first block train shipment under Maersk’s intercontinental rail (ICR) product help Georgia and this corridor in becoming a connecting bridge between Europe and Asia”, Danelia added.
Nora Lin, Head of Logistics Products, Greater China at Maersk,, said: “Block train is a very important part in Maersk’s intercontinental rail service portfolio. We have made huge progress during the past years and the service has been extended to 18 corridors in 9 countries.
“We are seeing increasing demand for this cost-efficient, environmentally friendly mode of transportation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, with which we help our customers optimise their supply chains with resilient logistics solutions.”
The first China-Georgia block train left Xi’an on September 10th, 2020 and arrived in Tbilisi on October 4th with 41 containers on board.