By rail, sea and air: Aragón is China’s entrance door to the South of Europe

Aragón continues working to consolidate itself as one of the main logistics hubs in Europe, from where service is provided to the whole world. And thanks to constant public-private collaboration, companies enjoy increasingly efficient solutions and logistics resources to operate with China. Multimodal transport solutions between Aragón and China were presented this week in a workshop organized by Aragón Plataforma Logística and Aragón Exterior/Invest in Aragón. “No point on the Iberian Peninsula can boast so many connections in such a small area,” said the director of Zaragoza International Airport.

 

Left to right: Francisco de la Fuente, director of Aragón Logistics Platform (APL), Jorge Valera, China traffic manager at DSV Air & Sea, Óscar Calvo, managing director of JCV Shipping & Solutions, and Ramón Adé, director of Terminal Marítima de Zaragoza (TMZ).

 

Aragón offers outstanding connections with China by rail, air and sea.

  • The hinterland terminal Terminal Marítima de Zaragoza (TMZ) connects the region with the Mediterranean ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Tarragona, offering daily connections by sea to the most important Chinese ports. Transit times can vary from 25 to 50 days, making this transport mode an economic option for non-perishable goods. A wide range of logistics operators, such as JCV Shipping & Solutions, operate from Zaragoza.
  • A direct continental rail connection was inaugurated last december by TMZ and logistics operator DSV, offering daily services from Zaragoza to the Chinese hub of Zhengzhou and connecting with 8 more DSV hubs all over China. With transit times of 24 to 26 days, expected to reach 21 days within the next years, and lower costs compared with air transport, the rail connection is a good alternative for perishable or valuable products.
  • Zaragoza International Airport offers seven weekly direct cargo flights with China, as well as routes to the main hubs of the Middle East region that offer infinite possibilities for traffic to Asia. It has become the second most important cargo airport in Spain by volume, and the most important one for connections with China. Transit takes between 2 and 10 days and fares limit this modality to perishable and high-value goods, as well as urgent cargo.

Far from competing with each other, these three options allow companies to have a wide range of possibilities that they can choose based on their needs, both strategic and circumstantial. This diversity, together with the strategic situation of the autonomous community and the high professionalization of its platforms and logistics services, allows companies to operate with greater competitive advantages, making Aragón the perfect entrance door to Southern Europe.

All speakers of the workshop agreed in one point: “What companies operating from here appreciate most about the Zaragoza hub is the agility and collaboration of all actors involved, from infrastructures to customs and logistics operators.”

“The world’s commercial center has changed and it has moved to Asia. The companies that export or import from there have to take into account all modes of transport and bet on those that are best suited to their needs, “said Francisco de la Fuente, managing director of Aragon Plataforma Logística (APL). In this scenario, the initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), the new ‘silk route’ that connects China with Europe, plays a fundamental role. “Zaragoza may be the furthest point of this belt, but it can also be a stepping stone to Africa, where Chinese interests are important.”, pointed out De la Fuente.