Leader in automotive logistics, GEFCO, has transported 500 tons of key automotive spare parts from Wuhan, China to France by securing one of the first block trains to travel from the city since the COVID-19 global crisis forced lockdown measures.

With high demand for rail from China and the majority of trains terminating in Germany, GEFCO worked closely with rail operators and terminal owners to coordinate the shipment and agree a dedicated block train directly to France.

GEFCO provided a door-to-door solution, including all necessary pre and post-carriage arrangements for road and rail, the loading of the containers at supplier plants in Shanghai and Chengdu, custom procedures and warehousing in France.

The 41 containers arrived at Lille Dourges Container Terminal in Dourges, North of France 19 days after collection on 21 April 2020, following a 10,000km route across seven countries: China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and finally France.

GEFCO provided contactless procedures at terminals as part of strict safety procedures in light of COVID-19 and, by moving the parts by rail over three-weeks in a sealed solution, ensured there was no risk of the virus being carried.

Rail logistics is an important service in the GEFCO portfolio, providing a cheaper solution to air transport and significant CO²reductions. This particular block train from China to Europe ensured a 4500 ton reduction in CO² emissions compared to an air solution.

​          Alice Defranoux, Global Rail Manager, GEFCO commented, “Securing the first block train from Wuhan to France marked a significant milestone for GEFCO amid the global challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. In this challenging time, our rail solution is demonstrating its value as a sustainable, cost-effective, time-efficient and reliable proposition.​

​          “We’re pleased to see restrictions begin to lift as countries work towards recovery. I am very proud to be part of the GEFCO team where colleagues continue to show agility and excellence for our customers, working with them to be fully engaged and united to go the extra mile.”

With car plants ceasing activity across Europe, GEFCO has found solutions to store the parts in local warehouses to ensure fast access for clients as soon as production resumes. To aid manufacturers further in restarting their production, GEFCO has shipped over two million masks

to ensure the health and safety of the customers’ employees when sites reopen, primarily by air but now also via rail.