From the end of June, three trains will be bringing 123 Volvos from China to Zeebrugge each week. The Port of Zeebrugge is strengthening its gateway position to the European car market.
The Port of Zeebrugge is already handling 2.8 million new cars a year. Another 19,000 new cars will be taking this ‘new Silk Route’ to enter the European distribution market. In the long run, according to the market demand, this number could grow to 30 to 40,000 new cars.
This will further strengthen the position of the Belgian seaport as the world’s leading port for the import and export of new cars.
123 Volvo S90 on one train
The first train will arrive in the inner port on 26 June, at the International Car Operator (ICO) terminal. It will carry 123 Volvos of the S90 model from the Geely assembly plant in Daqing. One block train transports 41 (40 ft) containers in which 3 cars can be loaded. The ride between Daqing and Zeebrugge takes 22 days.
Cooperation with Chinese carrier
The train link is a consequence of the partnership agreement concluded by the Zeebrugge Port Authority in February with Changjiu Logistics, Volvo’s carrier in China. Changjiu Logistics is the largest independent finished vehicle logistics provider in China, and the first Chinese automotive logistics company to go public.
The Port of Zeebrugge is currently exploring the market for return shipments to China.
Kris Peeters announces deal
With its ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, China aims to shift rail transport between China and Europe up a gear.
The news was announced during a visit by Kris Peeters, Federal Minister of Employment, Economy and Consumer Affairs, in charge of Foreign Trade, at the China Volvo factory in Daqing. This plant is owned by the Chinese Geely group, which also owns Volvo Cars in Ghent.