CEVA launches Southeast Asia rail-truck service as alternative to air

By Damian Brett

Logistics firm CEVA has launched a truck-rail-truck operation between China and Southeast Asia in response to airfreight capacity shortages in the region.

CEVA said China and the Southeast Asia region are facing flight suspensions and reductions, space limits and operational restrictions in addition to long waits at border crossings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It pointed out that the China-Vietnam road border crossing point between Pingxiang and Lang Son currently suffers from backlogs of two to four days.

To avoid this, shipments are picked up by CEVA across south and east China and loaded into 45 ft hi-cube containers. 

They are taken by truck to the cross-border train — which operates three times a day — and into Vietnam, where they are then unloaded onto trucks and delivered to final destination.

Shipments bound for Thailand which were taking up to eight days are now arriving in three to four days. The new service is also being used by CEVA customers in Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Guillaume Col, CEVA Logistics’ chief operating officer, said: “With our TRT solution, serious traffic jams at the border crossings can be avoided. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it really is the best solution for customers wishing to move urgent shipments between China and Southeast Asia.

“As a pioneer in TRT service, we will keep exploring our Road & Rail network between China and Southeast Asia to further develop these services.”

Several CEVA technology customers have already taken advantage of it to keep their cargo moving over the last month, the company said.

Export documentation requirements for the TRT service are the same as an all-trucked service and Customs clearance can be achieved within three hours.

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