After the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Chinese National Post Office signed a memorandum of understanding on closer cooperation between Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuania Post) and the Chinese Post in April of 2018, an agreement was reached to develop a new route that would involve transportation of postal shipments by rail from Chongqing, China to Vilnius. Lithuania Post will be shipping postal cargo along this route in cooperation with LG CARGO, a Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) company.
This method of carrying postal shipments will enable Lithuania to take delivery of shipments from China directly, without engaging any logistics brokers; besides, Lithuania Post will become a logistics hub for this type of shipments in Europe and will be delivering postal shipments from China to other European post offices. The first pilot railway car containing postal shipments from China was dispatched by rail on July 13. If the project works out, a regular weekly transport of postal cargo containers from China to Lithuania is due to be implemented.
Currently, all e-commerce goods from platforms such as Aliexpress reach Europe by air mail, because it is the fastest way to deliver shipments from China; however, with the air transport security requirements becoming tighter, and in a bid to reduce environmental pollution and the costs of transportation, the Chinese post office has set itself a target of carrying a large portion of e-commerce shipments by rail.
‘We have been observing a leap in e-commerce for years, discussing the growing volumes of postal shipments from China to Europe with our colleagues from other countries and analysing the statistics of parcels that are imported to Lithuania from this country via brokers. This has created a need to have a convenient direct chain of logistics. This is also in line with Lithuania Post’s mission of “Taking Delivery and Sending Conveniently. For Everyone”. In cooperation with LG CARGO, we have made a proposal to the Chinese post office regarding a complete logistic chain solution for their shipments from Chongqing in China to Vilnius by rail, including deliveries to other European postal operators. We hope that this project will serve as a contribution to a closer cooperation between the Chinese and the Lithuanian postal operators and will ensure a convenient and effective method of shipment delivery for the residents of Lithuania and other European countries alike,’ says Asta Sungailiene, CEO of Lithuania Post.
In the meantime, LG CARGO’s CEO Egidijus Lazauskas has said that searching for new cargo transportation routes is a priority to the company. ‘This project leads us towards achieving our strategic goal of becoming a Central and Eastern European mobility and logistic leader. We believe that in association with Lithuania Post we are able to offer a competitive solution for shipments from China, which are increasing in volume by the year. Carried by rail, cargo reaches its destination safer and leaves a smaller environmental footprint,’ says Mr. Lazauskas, CEO of LG CARGO, a member of the Lithuanian Railways Group.
Lithuania Post’s CEO Mrs Sungailiene says that the largest volumes of e-commerce shipments from China flow into Central and Western Europe – that is why Lithuania Post’s goal from the inception of the project was not only to ensure the delivery of shipments to Lithuania by rail, but also to become a transit spot, a gateway to Europe for shipments from the Chinese post office. Based on the scheduled volumes of the project, only a small percentage of shipments carried from China to Lithuania by rail will be intended for recipients in Lithuania; the majority of shipments will be delivered by Lithuania Post from Vilnius to other European postal operators for delivery to the final recipients in the appropriate country. This means that Lithuania Post will be able to abandon the services of foreign logistics partners and monetise this logistic process itself. Additional income will flow to LG CARGO and other carriers as well.
Public company Lithuania Post runs the widest and the most dense network of postal access points in the country. Lithuania Post offers postal, logistics, and financial brokerage services.