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Belt and Road landmark as first direct freight train arrives in Antwerp from China

In another landmark for overland connections under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between China and Europe the first freight train exclusively destined for Antwerp arrived at the Belgian port on Saturday. The freight train left the Chinese port of Tangshan on 26 April and arrived in Antwerp on 12 May, a day later than originally scheduled, and was the first ever direct train between China and the Belgian port. The train s consignee was Cosco Shipping Belgium and had 34 containers onboard, which were unloaded at Euroports for distribution in Europe .

The train travelled via the border crossing of Alashankou, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland and Germany The train took 16 days to reach Antwerp from Tangshan compared to a 35 day plus transit by containership . The service is planned to be run once or twice a month.

coscoanwterp2 Given the small volumes involved the train may be an alternative for shippers that might otherwise have to turn to much more costly air freight to reduce transit times. Marc Van Peel, Antwerp port alderman, said: China is the fourth biggest partner country for Antwerp, with an annual traffic volume of nearly 14m tonnes of goods .

Antwerp is ideally located on both the maritime route and the rail route between Europe and China, and our port is perfectly capable of acting as a transhipment port for trade between China and Africa via rail link.

The service is an initiative of Tangshan City & Tangshan Port, in collaboration with the Chinese state-owned shipping company Cosco Shipping Lines and the Chinese Railways (CRCT).

Read More: First freight train arrives in London from China1

References

  1. ^ Read More: First freight train arrives in London from China (bit.ly)

Southern Nevada’s Freight Corridor Gets the Vegas Treatment – Transport Topics Online

LAS VEGAS Before dawn on weekdays Paul DeLong arrives downtown to lead his team of commercial drivers in transporting equipment back and forth at construction sites for a project aimed at improving the work lives of truckers like him. His crew averages eight trips per shift using as many as six Western Star trucks during these final months of the aptly named Project Neon.

The $1 billion project will widen Interstate 15 at the U.S .

95 interchange Spaghetti Bowl, commonly known for its bumper-to-bumper traffic and accidents.

Excavator on U.S .< />
<p>93″ src=”http://www.translogistics.net/posts/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/99d9treatment-excavator.jpg” /></p>
<p><span><em>Construction is ongoing near the Spaghetti Bowl. (Eugene Mulero/Transport Topics)</em></span></p>
<p>On a rare rainy afternoon on May 1, when Transport Topics caught up with DeLong and the construction crew with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., a driver had taken an excavator with a magnet attachment from a yard at Bonanza Road and transported it to the Charleston Boulevard site, just a few miles from the heart of a city inundated with tourists, celebrities, street performers and the many locals who live here . All the while, the crew from Kiewit removed the remnants of a bridge that had been turned to rubble to make room for the road expansion.</p>
<p>For DeLong, owner of a local eponymous heavy-haul firm operating since the mid- 80s and a member of the Nevada Trucking Association, Project Neon is not the typical highway renovation.</p>
<p>The project will mark a better way to access the periphery of America s playground .</p>
<p>The much-needed boost for truckers will increase lane capacity at the state s southern premier freight corridor . Passing through it will be quicker, and safer.</p>
<p>As DeLong put it, Project Neon will hopefully eliminate the congestion getting through the Las Vegas area, north and south. </p>
<p>Project managers anticipate a reduction in congestion by 30% after completion, as well as a reduction in the average of three accidents daily . The reduction in truck traffic and travel delays will likely result in $110 million annual savings for the freight industry and motorists through increased productivity, the Nevada Department of Transportation estimates.</p>
<p>Project Neon, the largest public works project in state history, targets 3.7 miles on the interstate between Sahara Avenue and the interchange with the Spaghetti Bowl .</p>
<p>Sahara Avenue is about 2.5 miles north of the Strip, and the Spaghetti Bowl is the busiest stretch of highway in Nevada with some 25,000 lane changes hourly.</p>
<h3>Project Goals</h3>
<p>At the site about half a dozen construction workers with Kiewit donning hard hats were stationed at the Bonanza Road yard . A crew member used an excavator with a magnet attachment to asses debris from the demolished old roadway in order to access metal while another crew member collected rubble with a bulldozer for disposal, construction that will continue for nearly a year as ramps and miles of roadway have yet to be paved.</p>
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<p>The project will include high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and an intricate active traffic management system consisting of 42 massive electronic message boards . Nine boards have been installed with six already operational, said Susan Berkley, the project s public involvement coordinator .</p>
<p>The boards are designed to promote speed harmonization by alerting drivers of accidents and severe traffic or weather.</p>
<p>Fuel consumption would improve for freight haulers by reducing the amount of stop-and-go movement on the roadway . This could lead to fuel savings as high as 40%, city officials with the mayor s office estimate.</p>
<p>The project is funded primarily through state revenue bonds . The city contributed $75 million in locally obligated federal highway funds, according to project managers .</p>
<p>Construction kicked off nearly two years ago with completion projected for summer 2019 . And when it is finished each road meticulously in its place Project Neon will be its own salute to the local ethos: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.</p>
<p>Truckers are anticipating the change considering traffic through the corridor is expected to double by 2035 . Several drivers familiar with I-15 said that it s a huge delay .</p>
<p>However, notwithstanding the congested bottlenecks, truckers gotta be safe out there, said Gragg Wilson of FedEx Freight.</p>
<h3>Better Access</h3>
<p>The Las Vegas metropolitan area is a shipping and freight hub demanding constant supplies of food, goods and services to maintain various industries.</p>
<p><img class=

A bulldozer at the Bonanza Road yard. (Eugene Mulero/Transport Topics)

Of the 300,000 vehicles on the Spaghetti Bowl every day, about 17,900 on I-15 are trucks . U.S .

95 along the same stretch is used by 2,000 trucks daily, according to NDOT . Commercial drivers travel to and from California s ports and southwest hubs to reach warehouses, storage facilities and construction sites .

Other truckers focus primarily on last-mile routes across the metropolitan area, and longhaul truckers rely on the corridor en route to states farther north or east.

With $95 billion of commerce traveling annually along the corridor, congestion leads to potential slowdowns in local and state economies . That concern prompted emphasis on freight for the project, explained Dale Keller, Project Neon s senior project manager.

We re not in the business anymore of moving vehicles . We re about moving people and goods .

So, that method and that model really applies to this Project Neon by creating different transportation choices that we have, Keller said . You ve seen out here our footprint: You can t get any wider, right ? It s very expensive .

So we re trying to find these other choices, other transportation solutions to implement that.

Infrastructure Week

Our reporters kicked off the week with a look at how some new ideas are playing out in Nevada.

Anything we can do to improve that efficiency and moving people and goods really has a bottom-line impact, added Tony Illia, a spokesman with the department.

The high volume of tourists visiting Sin City every week, coupled with the state s growing population, were catalysts for the project, explained Paul Moradkhan, vice president of government affairs at the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce . According to data presented by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the state experienced a 31.8% population growth rate from 2000 to 2010 . That was followed by a population growth of 8.5% from 2011 to 2016.

There s several key factors that always come up in this conversation .

It s congestion . It s travel of goods . It s safety, the creation of jobs, travel delays, Moradkhan said .

All those will be addressed with the construction, and reconfiguration of Project Neon.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a staunch supporter of Project Neon, boasts about her city s place as an exemplar for intermodal freight transportation . Las Vegas is part of a trend, with Newark, N.J., and Denver, among cities that have enhanced commercial transportation.

A Model

Mayor Carolyn Goodman

Goodman

Goodman noted those steady transportation enhancements have earned the city praise from peers at the U.S . Conference of Mayors .

Also, national leaders, such as former Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, had told officials to study Las Vegas modernization efforts . Foxx, formerly mayor of Charlotte, N.C., as secretary had championed the need for enhancing capacity along I-15 beyond the metropolitan area.

For Project Neon, the mayor s hope is similar to DeLong s . Basically, the goal of the project is to open up the clog of two lanes in each direction at the Spaghetti Bowl, she said during an interview on April 30 at her downtown office.

After Project Neon, attention will need to turn to other infrastructure needs, she cautioned .

The American Society of Civil Engineers graded the state s infrastructure a C-minus in 2014, calling for additional work to enhance mobility in urban and rural areas.

Every city in this country pretty much has the same issues every other city has . But, sadly, all of us have to go to the top of the mountain and look singularly at a prioritized list of what s the most important . The first one is safety, the mayor said, and right under that is the horrible condition of the infrastructure in this country .

And you gotta fix it.

Chief Scientist opens Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders Summit

Chief Scientist opens Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders Summit

Dr Alan Finkel, Chief Scientist of Australia, said that good regulation is the best friend a business can have in his opening address at the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association s Global Heavy Vehicle Leaders Summit.

You know regulation is good if it can do two things: protect the public and facilitate commerce.

As population boomed in the aftermath of the Second World War, so did the demand for road freight . More trucks on road meant more congestion, more pollution, and inevitably, more accidents, he said, highlighting the development of Performance-Based Standards (PBS).

The trucking industry sees the advantages of B-double combinations, with improved productivity, reduced congestion, and ultimately, fewer crashes, said Finkel.

As an industry, it had to make the case on evidence to the ministers and to the public . Today, there are more than 10,000 B-doubles on the roads and they carry more freight than any other vehicle configuration in Australia.

But even more extraordinary is the follow-up because the industry didn t do what human beings normally do (after they achieve something they frequently stop), but it saw the need to keep going .

And it took that two-fold objective of good regulation protect the public and facilitate commerce turning it into the Performance-Based Standards.

Finkel said PBS was a world-first a comprehensive legal framework for high-productivity vehicles in exchange for more stringent safety requirements operating right across the country and governed by a national regulator.

It puts the focus where it needs to be to be for Australian industry to be genuinely competitive; a focus on quality and a focus on innovation.

We make trucks and trailers . And it is a seven-billion-dollar manufacturing industry centred in Victoria, he said.

Australia is also a global leader in autonomous trucks, according to Finkel . Rio Tinto has almost 400 trucks operating in the Pilbara, and about 20 per cent of those trucks drive autonomously, with supervision from a control centre in Perth .

This year, the company clocked up more than one billion tonnes of material moved by autonomous haulage with zero injuries, he said adding that the country is also a global leader in driver monitoring systems, with developments in passenger vehicles and heavy vehicle fleets.

On technological disruption, Finkel said there are opportunities for the commercial road transport industry in blockchain . It turns out that consumers overseas may pay a premium in produce if they can trace the provenance, he said explaining, with a hypothetical reference to purchasing packaged T-bone steak in China, that blockchain technology would provide the consumer with the product s history from the cloud such as the name of the farm that the cow came from . The technology at the core of these initiatives, Artificial Intelligence, data and analytics and blockchain, is the 21st century frontier in trucks.

CEO of Amazon, Geoff Bezos, wrote about a particular phenomenon in his latest annual letter to shareholders .

In his words: We didn t ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied . People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday s wow quickly becomes today s ordinary .

This is the leader of a company that sends out over five billion parcels every year . Geoff Bezos understands two things: trucks and customers .

His ethos is very straightforward: have high standards, Finkel said adding another key snippet of advice he received earlier in his career is that quality is remembered long after price is forgotten .

You, the leaders of a seven-billion-dollar industry, at the heart of Australia, and vital to its prosperity how are we going to carry the expectation of high standards into the future and not just for trucking, but as a standard bearer for all of Australian industry?

The ARTSA Summit also launched a PBS report1 and provided attendees opportunities to discuss heavy vehicle innovation, road reform, safety research and disruption as well as logistics.

(Image L-R: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto, Australia s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel and ARTSA Chair, Dr Peter Hart.)

References

  1. ^ PBS report (www.primemovermag.com.au)
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