On 7th August 2019, Maersk’s new AE19 service arrived at the port of Gdansk, carrying cargo which had been loaded in Asia less than two weeks earlier. This new unique service is a combination of a short-sea product, connecting several Asian origins with the port of Vostochniy in the Russian Far East, with the intercontinental rail crossing Russia in just 9 days before reaching St. Petersburg. The last leg of the product is another short-sea connection between St. Petersburg and ports in continental Europe.
“We are delighted to offer this new service to our customers in Asia, Russia and Europe as a convenient and highly competitive addition to our conventional Asia-Europe products. AE19 complements our product portfolio by offering a solution with highly attractive transit time for customers with time-sensitive cargoes, all while remaining cost-competitive”, comments Zsolt Katona, Managing Director Eastern Europe with Maersk.
AE19 is a standard product with a Maersk bill of lading for both refrigerated and dry containers. The product allows customers to avoid congestion on border crossings and offers fast track options for transit in Russia based on the blockchain solution.
The first AE19 product carries Korean cargo loaded in Busan and destined for the Polish market. The service can also conveniently connect Japan and other Asian origins with several other ports in Europe close to St. Petersburg, such as Bremerhaven in Germany or ports in Scandinavia and Baltic countries, giving shippers significant transit time benefits compared to standard Ocean and cost competitiveness compared to Air freight.
The total transit time (ocean and rail) with AE19 from Busan to Gdańsk is 18 days, which is more than twice faster compared to the conventional ocean only service on that corridor. The eastbound transit time Gdansk-Busan is 22 days.
The Asian part of the short-sea connection (to Vostochniy port) is provided by Sealand Asia, while the European leg is operated by Sealand Europe. The rail connection and transit customs formalities are provided by Modul, one of the largest private rail operators in Russia. Port handling is done at terminals VSC (port of Vostochniy) and PLP (St.Petersburg), belonging to biggest Russian port operator Global Ports.
Being part of Maersk’s Asia-Europe portfolio alongside ocean, AE19 fits into Maersk’s ambition of developing superior rail products. The carrier already offers intercontinental rail connections between China and Europe on top of a comprehensive network of inland connections from major ports in Europe to a wide range of inland destinations.