Dutch dairy co-op FrieslandCampina has sent a container of Friso infant nutrition by train to China to trial if the method of transport can be used as an additional option to shipping and air freight.

The world’s sixth-largest milk processor is carrying out a study on the most efficient mode of transport. Transport by train is being considered in addition to, rather than a replacement of, transport by ship.

The CR Express, also known as the New Silk Road, is a collective name for freight rail routed between Europe and China.

The fast railway connection has been set up with large suppliers of electronics who can transport products to the EU in a fast and controlled manner. The Chinese government has developed this route through the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

Alternative transport

If the test is successful, it will be a breakthrough in dairy product transport to China from Europe as it will be alternative to expensive air freight while cutting the shipping time by 20 days.

The big advantage for FrieslandCampina of travelling the Silk Road is the fact that the containers can have climate control and transport security with short and definitive delivery dates.

The Silk Road, which goes through seven countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and China) offers a new sustainable option for fast deliveries to the largest-growing market for infant formula in the world.

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