The first trial train from China to Estonia should arrive in November as Estonian state-owned rail cargo operator EVR Cargo is to begin cooperation with Swedish furniture seller IKEA in transporting goods from China to Scandinavia, daily Eesti Päevaleht reported.
IKEA, which is produces furniture and accessories in Asia, currently transports the goods to Europe via container ship, but in cooperation with the Estonian company, the Swedish group will soon be testing out a solution three times as fast: sending goods by train from China through Kazakhstan to Paldiski, and from there by ship to the Swedish port of Kapellskär. It is possible that the first full-length loaded trial train will arrive in Estonia in November already.
EVR Cargo CEO Raul Toomsalu said that the prices of shipping have harmonized with the prices of rail transport, which is why rail transport, which is several times faster, is more attractive.
"While transporting by container from China to Europe previously cost approximately $600, then by now it has reached $1,500 dollars,@ Toomsalu explained. "The cost for a container is nearly the same as transporting by rail, only that instead of 45 days, the journey lasts 10 to 12 days."
Estonian Railways CEO Erik Laidvee told business daily Äripaev that according to current plans, the first trial train from China is to arrive in November, but was unable to confirm that this would be the IKEA train in question. "We are unable to disclose the customer before the train arrives, but we hope to carry out the first trial in November," he said.
Laidvee explained that following its arrival, it will be possible to conduct analyses and draw conclusions. "We will handle all bottlenecks and parts of the transit chain and will also analyze fees — whether something could be made cheaper or more effective," he said. Following the trial, the train would run once per week.
Editor: Aili Vahtla