(Yicai Global) Dec. 12 -- Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. [KRX:011200], one of South Korea's largest shipping firms, will open a block train service direct to Europe via the Trans China Railway, it said today.
Hyundai Merchant Machine will send cargo from Incheon, Busan and Pyeongtaek in Korea to Chinese cities Qingdao and Rizhao via sea. Samsung SDS Co. [KRX:018260], LG Electronics Inc. [KRX:066570] and other South Korean firms have expressed an interest in using the service to ship televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, automotive parts and other high-value goods, according to research reports.
The project was ready to move forward in June, but the firm didn't pen deals to advance until Nov. 8, after subsidy negotiations with local governments and political conflict between the two countries delayed progress. When plans are complete, the company will send goods from South Korea's main ports to China and then forward them on to Europe.
Using the Trans China Railway should help cut delivery times from South Korea to Poland to around 18 to 23 days, but freight will be expensive. South Korea's Ministry of Land and Transportation has been negotiating with the Chinese government and hopes to be as price competitive as possible.