DHL asks Brussels to support Poland in financing its railway hubs

Par ediallo - 29 October, 2021 - 07:24

Between 2018 and 2020, the number of trains arriving from China to the European Union through the border between Poland and Belarus has almost doubled. While the trains on the Chinese side run smoothly, the same cannot be said for the European side...

Rail traffic is growing rapidly between Europe and China. Rail is increasingly seen as an alternative to sea or air transport.

Between 2018 and 2020, the number of trains arriving in the European Union via the border between Poland and Belarus almost doubled, from 6,300 to 12,400 convoys. By 2021, this number is expected to reach 15,000 trains.

Delays of 12 to 14 days

But "if on the Asian side, trains are running smoothly, due to the massive investments made by China on the Silk Road, things are much more complicated on the European side", underlines Thomas Kowitzki, vice-president of DHL Global Forwarding, responsible for rail transport to China for the German company.

"Especially at the Malaszewicze border point (the marshalling yard near the border on the Polish side) between Terespol in Poland and Brest in Belarus, delays reach 12 to 14 days due to lack of staff and inefficient customs procedures.

Many containers transit through this crossing point and the disappointment of rail customers is growing", regrets the manager.

Brussels' support expected

In the midst of the crisis between the European Union and Poland, DHL is waiting for the support of Brussels, asking the 27 to address the issue of the Silk Road in the framework of the European Year of Railways in order to support Warsaw in terms of investments in its rail nodes.

According to the German company, this would include the construction of a new two-track bridge over the Bug River as well as the construction of an eight-track electrified transshipment center of European standards, equipped with 1,500-meter long platforms. Poland is planning to invest some of the funds received from the health crisis in its rail network.

By comparison, on the Chinese side, the new Zhengzhou station has 32 platforms. The link between Zhegzhou and Hamburg lasts in theory 15 days, for 10,214 km through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland. The 800-meter-long trains carry 44 containers between the Yellow River and the Elbe.

NATHALIE VERSIEUX