Loadings and routings across the New Silk Road are becoming more and more popular, certainly also for Alexander Global Logistics, who just established their first new representative office in Shanghai this March 2021.
The challenges, however, are also increasing. Due to the demand in WB increasing daily, AGL China has been able to triple up the volume since the office was opened. However, due to more new challenges, high demand, fewer railway slots, as well as shortage of empty containers, challenges have been quite tough to solve. New departure terminals were added almost every week, and the capacity of train departures increased rapidly - only a matter of time before China Railway cancels slots from various smaller terminals. (e.g. China Railway has cut the capacity from Yiwu by 60% in order to control the congestion at the border).
As predicted, it turned out that way… Slots via terminals like Wuyishan and Taiyuan etc. were canceled by China Railway and therefore quick action was in order, although the goods were already fully loaded and on the way back to the terminal.Immediately we started new negotiations with several platforms to reroute the containers to guarantee no delay and no higher price for the customers. All these operational issues ran in the background in order to be able to provide the customer with a perfectly tailored logistic solution.
Also, hour by hour we had been observing the live capacities through the websites and talking directly to the platform providers, which helped us to secure more volume. Knowing customers` needs makes it easier to react faster at short notice in order to secure the necessary space. This is a service that we would like to offer our customers in order to keep our service at the highest level.
Furthermore, due to the impact of the Yantian port shut down because of confirmed Covid cases, vessels got omitted – sailings changed and containers got offloaded, as well facing a cut´n´run, the demand for railway increased more and more. Besides the current challenges; we had been fighting to secure space and empty equipment and our demand and request for the transportation on the tracks increased.
Even though the port of Yantian went back to full operation last week, ship owners are still changing sailings and mostly go via transshipment that causes a delay of at least 2 weeks minimum. Because of the ever increasing demand, the congestion at the borders between China and Kazakhstan as well Belarus and Poland became more.
That’s why daily monitoring and updating the live tracking report to our customers is so important, in order to react quickly and to report if any bigger delays on the border occur, to help our customers to keep their SCM planning’s on time. Due to the high demand delays occur quite often at the crossing ports because of unloading and reloading to the new wagons. Daily updates, especially in the automotive branch, have high priority and it is in our interest to offer this to the customers.
Even though the time and market situation is more unpredictable than it already was last November/December, AGL is very well positioned with the presence in China and can conquer any challenge.