STUTTGART – Porsche said in a statement on March 29 that it will begin shipping cars made in Germany to China via rail transport in addition to the normal sea transportation, cutting shipment to just 20 days.
The move means that some vehicles will travel to customers in China via the New Silk Road, up to three weeks faster than previously. Currently around 80,000 sports cars each year make their way by sea to Guangzhou, Shanghai or Tianjin, covering a distance of over 10,000 nautical miles, or around 18,500 km. Sea transportation from the factory to the Porsche Centers in China takes a good 50 days.
From now on, 11 percent of factory-new sports cars will be exported via the new rail link along the Silk Road to south-west China. The overland route from Europe to China is known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The distance by rail is around 11,000 km. The route travels eastward from Germany through Poland, Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, to the south-west Chinese metropolis of Chongqing. From there, the new vehicles will be delivered to regional dealers.
Transportation on the New Silk Road begins following successful testing.
“Our customers in south-west China will receive their new vehicle much more quickly,” said Oliver Bronder, vice president Logistics and Production Control at Porsche. “The 20-day rail route shortens the period required for vehicle logistics by up to three weeks, despite different track gauges and multiple container transfers.”
The Chinese market share for vehicle deliveries in 2018 was 31 percent, making it the highest-volume individual market for Porsche for the fourth year in a row.