GEFCO has transported 500 tonnes of automotive spare parts from Wuhan, China to France by securing one of the first block trains to travel from the city since the COVID-19 global crisis forced lockdown measures.
With high demand for rail from China and the majority of trains terminating in Germany, GEFCO worked closely with rail operators and terminal owners to coordinate the shipment and agree a dedicated block train directly to France.
GEFCO provided a door-to-door solution, including all necessary pre and post-carriage arrangements for road and rail, the loading of the containers at supplier plants in Shanghai and Chengdu, custom procedures and warehousing in France. The 41 containers arrived at Lille Dourges Container Terminal in Dourges, North of France 19 days after collection on 21 April 2020, following a 10,000 km route across seven countries: China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and finally France.
GEFCO provided contactless procedures at terminals as part of strict safety procedures in light of COVID-19 and, by moving the parts by rail over three-weeks in a sealed solution, ensured there was no risk of the virus being carried.
Alice Defranoux, Global Rail Manager, GEFCO commented, “In this challenging time, our rail solution is demonstrating its value as a sustainable, cost-effective, time-efficient and reliable proposition. We’re pleased to see restrictions begin to lift as countries work towards recovery.”
With car plants ceasing activity across Europe, GEFCO has aimed to find solutions to store the parts in local warehouses to ensure fast access for clients as soon as production resumes. To aid manufacturers further in restarting their production, GEFCO has shipped over 2m masks to ensure the health and safety of the customers’ employees when sites reopen, primarily by air but now also via rail.
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