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Davies Turner has said that its direct, fixed-day, weekly rail import service from China to the UK has achieved a record transit time.

Tony Cole, head of supply chain services at Davies Turner, said: “While air freight and ocean freight shipments face significant capacity and schedule issues, the first consol container that left China after we restarted our direct Express China Rail service into the UK in March arrived and was unpacked at our Dartford freight hub after just 17 days.

“That is a full week ahead of the scheduled transit time from the Xi’an rail hub to our Dartford depot of 24 days, and beats the previous record achieved last year of 18 days.”

Cole continued: “After we launched the dedicated weekly direct consolidation service in November 2018, we saw it go from strength to strength prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in China.”

Philip Stephenson, chairman of Davies Turner, added: “I believe that the impact of Covid-19 will push many shippers to rethink their supply chains, and that could well see a lot more Asia-Europe air and ocean freight traffic moving permanently to the rail freight option.”