UPU: sometimes supreme challenges can lead to good ideas
Mail-only trains from China are helping clear the huge backlog of mail destined for Europe and deliver medical supplies.
The first train, the “China Post” CR Express 1st block train, was unloaded in Vilnius, Lithuania, on April 14 carrying mail and two containers of medical supplies. Transport takes between 12-14 days.
Speaking about the utilisation of European and Asian rail networks, the UPU’s Director of Postal Operations Abdelilah Bousseta said: “Sometimes supreme challenges can lead to good ideas and produce simplified solutions. At present, given the current situation, the train network is one of the very best solutions for moving the huge volumes of mail.”
Each train carries around 300 tons of mail and are the result of cooperation between China Post, Lithuania Post, Polish Post and railway operators. Around 2,000 tons of mail is slated for rail transport from China in the next 2-3 months.
Many of the train journeys end in Lithuania, although other trains go to Poland. Trucks then take the mail to their final destination in more than 30 countries spread across Europe.
The use of the rail network to deliver mail is a success for the Universal Postal Union’s Supply Chain Team, which has championed the rail network for the delivery of mail between Europe and Asia. At present, the team is working with representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, among others.
Noor Adan, the UPU’s Global Supply Chain Coordinator, said about the project: “The Universal Postal Union is proud to work with postal operators and railway operators to ensure that the international postal service continues during this crisis.”