GEODIS has been chosen to manage the rail transport between Wuhan, China and Lyon, France for Kaporal, a Marseille based designer jeans manufacturer. The shipments transported by train travel over 11,300 kilometers in 18 days alongside the legendary Silk Road.
Kaporal has chosen rail service to reduce transport time, costs and their environmental footprint. According to Vincent Allal, Head of KAPORAL Supply Chain, “rail transport is a real alternative to air travel that was previously considered. The transit is relatively short, we have halved our bill on this transaction and we are very sensitive to the low environmental impact of this solution.”
The rail service between China and France optimizes GEODIS’ door-to-door solution for Kaporal. GEODIS first consolidates the goods from multiple suppliers in China, and once loaded onto the train the cargo will cross over seven countries including China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France. Containers are then routed to GEODIS’ logistics platform in Grans, where a total of 10 million textile garments are delivered each year to the Kaporal outlets throughout France. Eventually, three trains per week will use this route for Kaporal.
“We successfully coped with a number of operational and technical challenges”, says Kim Pedersen, Executive Vice President of GEODIS’ Freight Forwarding Line of Business. “Twenty drivers were needed to operate the train on its way through seven countries. Locomotives had to be changed eight times and we had to manage three special transshipments at certain borders due to the different track gauge. The rail link between China and France opens great opportunities in continental rail. It is an innovative solution that we offer to our customers. In comparison, ocean freight transit times are approximately 30 days and the rates are subject to high volatility. No doubt that rail transport has a future.”