First Damco China-Europe Block Train arrives in France

Netherlands-based Damco, a global provider of freight forwarding and supply chain management service, has marked a new phase in its rail service with the safe arrival, right on schedule in France, of its first block train service from China. The service which transported goods for French Decathlon, one of the world’s leading sporting goods firms, departed Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province on 28 October.
The arrival of the block train on 16 November in France saw the transit time for the 10,815km journey reduced by exactly 20 days. Carbon emissions were also reduced, providing support for the block train service as an environmentally conscious alternative for the fast transportation of goods.
Kasper Krog, Head of Rail at Damco, commented: “We are pleased that we have been able to put together this solution for Decathlon, and in fact for the wider market, that has produced immediate benefits on a logistics and economic level.”
It is the first block train in to France run by Damco’s rail freight team using Maersk Line containers. The synergetic value of these brands’ joint efforts within the Transport & Logistics (T&L) division will provide customers with more added value and flexibility via multimode transport solutions. This also reduces the need for trucking rail containers on arrival in Europe and provides more flexibility for the customer.
One of the objectives of the Damco Block Trains was to ensure that the service could help businesses stay ahead of and meet their supply chain demands in a safe, secure and timely way. A combination of GPS tracking and daily reports provided the client with up-to-the-minute visibility on their goods.
Decathlon entrusted Damco with a symbolic box containing a sample of the sporting goods being transported as part of the departure ceremony held last month in China. The box was handed over to the client and opened as part of the official welcoming ceremony held this morning to demonstrate the safe arrival of the goods. Philippe Dunand, Global Account Director of Damco’s lifestyle vertical commented, “The arrival of the block train today, shows that we have a viable service that can support businesses seeking more cost-effective and/or sustainable methods of transporting their goods from China to Europe.” He continued, “This is good news for business and good news for our customer, Decathlon. We will continue to focus our efforts on developing the strategies and services to support companies in lifestyle and other sectors.”
The company is set to roll out the block train service to more customers and market sectors in due course.