Information published on 18 October 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 519.

Central-heating and steam boilers: from Austria to China by rail

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The Rail Cargo Group’s bespoke solutions have convinced Hoval to transport its products to China by rail in future. Hoval, a full-service supplier of smart heating and ventilation systems, had previously shipped goods by sea. ÖBB’s freight division drew on its international logistics expertise to plan the complex route, which covered thousands of kilometres and six countries, thereby making a major contribution to the project’s success.

Speed is the winning argument

Previously, all shipping had gone by sea, but by offering a bespoke door-to-door transport solution the Rail Cargo Group was able to convince Hoval to shift to a more environmentally-friendly means of transport: rail. The decisive factors in the firm’s decision to have the boilers shipped to China by rail were not only the much shorter transit time, but also the high degree of sustainability - the latter being a credo to which the heating and ventilation systems experts have also subscribed for many years.

Loading with little margin for error

Loading the goods presented the Rail Cargo Group with our first logistical challenge. The two steam boilers, each of which weighs 5.5 tonnes, and the four heating boilers, each of which weighs 11 tonnes, were loaded into special 40-foot High Cube containers for their 12,000-kilometre journey. Given the dimensions of the containers, only a few millimetres separated the boilers from one another and from the container walls and doors. Hoval’s own experts therefore helped advise on loading. The goods then travelled by road to the Munich container terminal, where the containers were transshipped onto wagons, before beginning their journey across Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan to their destination, the rail terminal in Chongqing, China. Upon arrival there, the six boilers completed their journey by road, arriving at the hotel in Xian, China, a mere 30 days after departure.

(Source: Rail Cargo Group)