11/18/2015, 10:00 AM CET

DHL's Maritime Silk Road accelerates trade between Asian and European markets via Greece

With a new transit hub in Piraeus, Greece, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight shortens lead times by more than nine days to and from Europe. 

Piraeus port is a free trade zone which allows quick transit and customs clearance.

  • DHL Global Forwarding, Freight develops new multimodal solution combining ocean and road freight for shipments between Europe, Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East
  • Piraeus' unique geographical position shortens lead times by more than nine days to and from Europe

Bonn - DHL Global Forwarding, Freight is further expanding its multimodal service solutions in Europe with a new ocean and road freight connection between Europe and Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East. The new transit hub is located in Piraeus, Greece and offers a unique geographical position for shorter end-to-end lead times for ocean freight shipments from Far East to Europe and vice versa. Customers benefit from shorter transit times, day-definite full-truckload and daily less-than-truckload departures, and distribution from Piraeus within two to five days to key markets in Europe via DHL Freight's network. Further advantages include customs clearance and end-to-end transparency over shipments. The new service saves over nine days of transit time compared to traditional ocean freight destinations such as Hamburg or Rotterdam.

"This new multimodal solution via port Piraeus allows us to provide our customers with faster lead times between Europe and megacities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore, along the maritime route of the ancient Silk Road," says Kostis Soukoulis, Country Manager Greece, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. "We constantly develop our offering to best support customers' needs and help them use logistics as a competitive advantage."

Piraeus port is a free trade zone which allows quick transit and customs clearance. From there, cargo moves through DHL Freight's road freight network until the gateways in Munich or Milan, and then further to the final destinations.

"The proximity of port Piraeus and our road freight terminal enables immediate access to and fast processing of cargo, emphasizes Amadou Diallo, CEO DHL Freight. "After arrival and customs clearance procedures, we can directly transfer the goods on to our European road freight network - either as a standard Euroconnect or as a prioritized Eurapid shipment."

Combination of road and ocean freight services

Containers arriving at the inbound gateway in Greece immediately go through customs clearance. Full-container load shipments are unloaded in the port, then directly transferred onto trucks and dispatched via DHL Freight's full-truckload service, which saves costs for empty container returns. The Cross Docking Station located close to the port serves for the de-consolidation of less-than-container load shipments and ensures a seamless connection to DHL Freight's road network. Shipments from Piraeus depart on a daily basis and are picked-up at the gateways in Munich or Milan within 72 hours and 48 hours respectively. The delivery of consignments from Asia to all major European markets takes now on average between 22-26 days instead of 31-35 days.

This combination of road and ocean freight services also brings further advantages: Greece's proximity to the Central Eastern European markets represents a major advantage for customers targeting this region, as it allows them to save costs and time. Moreover, they can monitor both the ocean and road freight legs of their goods online on DHL`s Track & Trace platform.

DHL is looking to further expand its multimodal service offering from Piraeus to rail and air freight transport modes in the future.