Rail service between Kunming, China and Vientiane, Laos sees significant uptake with road congestion

  • China-Vietnam
    road border crossing presently experiencing delays by 20-30 days
  • DHL
    Global Forwarding, the first international forwarder to launch the two-way
    China-Laos rail service, sees rapid demand with 20-24 hour transit time and costs
    up to 50% less than airfreight
  • Vientiane
    and Kunming key as multimodal hubs for China-ASEAN trade

OutReach – 28 January 2022 – Heavy road
congestions on the China-Vietnam border due to local COVID-19 related
situations have resulted in soaring demand for newly launched two-way
China-Laos rail services facilitating trade between China and ASEAN. Over 2000
trucks are in the queue on both sides of the main connection Pingxiang (China) bordering
Lang S’on (Vietnam), causing delays of up to 20-30 days.

The alternative border at
Dongxin (China) bordering Mong Cai (Vietnam), which reopened on 10 January, is
still experiencing backlogs. Both congestions are expected to continue through
to the Lunar New Year.

DHL Global Forwarding, the
leading international freight specialist division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, and
the first international forwarder to launch a two-way rail freight service
between Kunming, China and Vientiane, Laos has seen significant uptake with a
daily connection in each direction for its service on the newly opened China-Laos
railway. The rail service shortens transit time between Kunming and Vientiane
to about  20 – 24 hours, compared to 20-30 days with the present congestion
through Vietnam.

Rail-truck solution between
China & Southeast Asia: Key to keeping supply chains  running

“We launched the China-Laos Railway service in
December and it was just in time. The backlogs on the road borders between
China and Vietnam are not likely to clear before Chinese New Year, and it is
really critical during this peak season to have the rail alternative,” said Steve Huang, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding
Greater China.

“Thanks to
the two-way rail service between Laos and China, we’ve been able to help
customers keep their delivery timelines with limited delays. The service
strategically positions Laos, a land-locked country, as a land-linked hub. DHL
Global Forwarding has the most extensive road and rail services in the region,
and our customers moving goods between China and ASEAN countries now have a
strong viable alternative between air and ocean freight,” Thomas Tieber, CEO,
DHL Global Forwarding Southeast Asia said.

season relief: Faster, Cheaper freight from China to ASEAN

DHL’s scheduled service using
the new China-Laos Railway is one of the six international economic corridors
under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Laos section of the railway
is 414-km that connects Kunming (China) to Boten, Laos’ northern border with
China, to Vientiane in
the south, on its border with Thailand. The route cuts the journey time from
Vientiane to the Chinese border to less than four hours, compared to 15 hours
by road (in normal conditions). At Boten, the railway will connect with the BRI
network at Kunming, China, through another 595-km railway link, providing Laos
with a land link to global and regional supply chains.

DHL’s scheduled service leveraging
the China-Laos Railway runs in both directions between China and ASEAN
markets, including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and
Indonesia, providing an attractive, highly cost-efficient alternative when
logistics costs are at an all time high.

The two-way service combines
trucking from all over China to the hub in Kunming, running through the
China-Laos railroad, then onward with DHL’s established road network service and
back, with significant cost savings and competitive transit times, providing a
viable transportation alternative. Examples of the services include:

  • Chengdu – Bangkok – road/rail services are
    78% cheaper and 2 days faster than airfreight
  • Kuala Lumpur – Chengdu – road/rail services
    are 70% cheaper, same transit time compared to airfreight
  • Shanghai – Singapore – road/rail services
    are 38% cheaper, 4 days longer compared to airfreight

Note to

Find out more
about DHL’s road and multimodal logistics offerings, with its
road freight services on the rise
in Southeast Asia, and a
rail freight service from Xi’an in China to Hamburg and Neuss in Germany, that
cut transit time down by over 40 percent.
Read more on DHL’s Logistics of Things.



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