China’s Lianyungang Port at Port of Tallinn
On 4 March 2010, the delegation of Lianyungang Port Group Ltd and Shipping China under the leadership of the Chairman of the Lianyungang Port Group Ltd visited Port of Tallinn. It was a third meeting between the same parties with the objective of establishing an alternative rail freight forwarding route for cargo containers between China and Europe (so-called Land Bridge).
The joint venture between Lianyungang Port and China Shipping Container Lines, which CEO was also a member of the delegation, has already launched a container train on the route between Lianyungang and Kazakhstan. Presumably in April, the cargo train route to Moscow will be opened. Considering that the only regular container train service from the Baltic States and Finland to Moscow is operated on the route between Port of Tallinn and Moscow, the chaining of transport corridors would present an opportunity to establish a unique rail connection between Lianyungang Port and Port of Tallinn, which would secure its own niche in the intercontinental transportation of time sensitive freight. Taking into consideration the difference in the delivery times in maritime cargo transport and rail freight forwarding, the estimated time saved when opting for Land Bridge in cargo transport for example on the route between any South-Korean port of departure and any Western European port of destination would be approximately 23 days, which is almost half of the duration of maritime cargo transport on the same route.
The enterprises attending the meeting (in addition to Port of Tallinn, EVR Cargo, Muuga CT from Estonia; CF&S, representing China Shipping in Estonia, and Petromaks Spediitori AS, representing Transkonteiner in Estonia) agreed to set up a joint task force for launching the Land Bridge and the ports and Shipping China signed a co-operation memorandum for the development of an electronic land bridge between Asia and Europe.