Monday 5 June 2017

Road - Trade routes

In the past couple of weeks, the news agenda has been dominated by tragedy and politics, but life goes on, and so does business.

Almost overlooked by all the main news outlets was one rather historical automotive moment. Not as important as other matters dominating the headlines, but significant as far as Europe, Brexit and business are concerned.

Last week Volvo Cars became the first car maker in the world to export China-made cars to Europe by train via China’s new ‘One Belt, One Road’ trade initiative. Perhaps the Great Wall isn't quite so far away any more!

The rail route was opened up earlier this year with Volvo becoming the first car maker to make use of it. Specially adapted containers can each carry three cars on the 7,500 mile trip through Kazakhstan and Russia and on into Europe which will take around 15 days as opposed to a 30 day sea trip.

Not only is it quicker but rail transport could reduce CO2 emissions by up to a half. There is also the added benefit of customers waiting less time for their new Chinese built S90!

Trouble is, the Europeans might just take a leaf out of Mr Trump's book and build their own wall along their eastern border! More trade barriers to negotiate, eh?

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