The Maersk 40ft container consignment arrived at Felixstowe, UK, on 2 March, after its departure from Yokohama, Japan in January, having crossed Russia by both land and sea.
The service, operated with railway provider Modul, is part of Maersk´s AE19 service which has connected Asia and Europe via the Trans-Siberian railway and the ports of Vostochniy and St Petersburg since 2019. This is the first time the AE19 service has been completed with a full-size container train shipped with goods solely from Japan. “Transit from Asia to Europe via Russia is becoming a more and more attractive alternative to shipping goods via the Suez Canal, even for such sea-borne routes as Japan to the UK,” said Zsolt Katona, Head of Maersk Eastern Europe. “We are confident that the progress we made jointly on AE19 expansion last year, together with Russian Railways and our partners Modul, will continue the growth trajectory of Trans-Siberian transit in 2021.”
Transit shipments from Japan to Europe were one of the biggest container flows via the Trans-Siberian railway 30 years ago. Today, Maersk´s AE19 service is helping to re-open this important transit route for shippers in Asia and Europe. AE19 is now offering three weekly departures and mainly carries goods between North East Asia and Northern Europe. Due to the current pressure on the Asia-Europe Ocean networks, Maersk expects that transit shipments between Japan and Europe through the highly reliable Trans-Siberian operation on AE19 will continue expanding in 2021.