2M Alliance boasts fastest ocean transit from China to Antwerp
By Robert King on 21 May 2018
2M Alliance's AE6/Lion service offers the fastest transit times between China and Antwerp, at 25 days out of Yantian.
  According to data from the Port of Antwerp , the Belgian port is Northern Europe's second largest by container volume, and covers more area than any other port on Earth. With its proximity to Northern European cities via maritime and rail access, Antwerp is ideally suited for transshipment of Chinese containers throughout Northern Europe and Africa. 
  Utilizing data from the BlueWater Reporting Port to Port and Region to Region Transit Analyses, the chart above shows the fastest transit times for ocean carrier container services operating from ports located in China to Antwerp, Belgium. 
   As of May 16, 2018, the 2M and OCEAN Alliances offer the greatest number of service options (three each) to transport goods from China to Antwerp, with the most common departure points originating from Shanghai, Ningbo, and Yantian. 
  Of these services, the 2M Alliance's AE6/Lion service completes the transit from Yantian to Antwerp in just 25 days with additional departure calls from the above-mentioned ports of Ningbo and Shanghai, and an average vessel capacity of 13,814 TEUs. The OCEAN Alliance's FAL7/NE7 offers transit to Antwerp in 26 days out of Shekou Shenzhen, with additional departures from Nansha, Ningbo, and Shanghai. The service has an average vessel capacity of 12,010 TEUs. 
  The shortest transit times between China and Antwerp offered by the THE Alliance's FE4 service and 2M Alliance's AE7/Condor service are both out of Shanghai. The FE4 has a transit time of 32 days with an average vessel capacity of 14,500 TEUs, and the AE7/Condor offers 35 days with an average capacity of 17,668 TEUs. 
  With the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative well underway, the Port of Antwerp recently announced the first ever freight train exclusively destined for Antwerp from China arrived on May 12, 2018, and completed a delivery of 34 COSCO Shipping containers. After having departed the Chinese port of Tangshan on April 26, the train travelled via the border crossings of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland, and Germany to reach its final destination while covering a distance of 11,000 km in 16 days. 
  While faster than the above-mentioned ocean liner services, this rail service is still in its infancy, with current plans to run as a unit train on a fortnightly frequency, and without the flexibility of adding or skipping ports based on dynamic events.