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Redefining European Cargo Transportation through an Innovative Trans-Siberian Railway Logistics NetworkJan. 15, 2020

Redefining European Cargo Transportation 

through an Innovative Trans-Siberian Railway Logistics Network


- Carrying LG Chem batteries on board, Pantos conducts an 11,000 km TSR test run from Korea to Poland.

- Using special containers, the first-ever transportation of hazardous materials in TSR history is successfully completed.

- Reducing transportation time to Europe by nearly half compared to maritime routes

Aiming for a “dream railway logistics network” from the Korean Peninsula to Europe through leading Northern logistics



In a groundbreaking move, Pantos is introducing a pioneering logistics network utilizing the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR), which will significantly slash the transportation time of Europe-bound export cargo compared to conventional maritime routes.


On January 15, 2020, Pantos announced that it had developed a new transportation service connecting Korea/China and Europe through the TSR. Vice President Lee Yong-ho of Pantos and Sarayev, the president of PJSC TransContainer*, signed a bilateral exclusive service agreement on January 14, 2020 at Pantos’s Gwanghwamun headquarters in Seoul.


* PJSC TransContainer is Russia’s largest railway logistics company specializing in TSR railway transportation. Its vast fleet has 75,000 containers and 27,000 railway wagons operating out of its 38 terminals across Russia. This accounts for 42% of Russia’s railway container transportation and about 17.6% of container terminal throughput across the nation.


The agreement grants Pantos exclusive supply rights for PJSC TransContainer’s TSR transportation in Korea. In addition, this partnership sets the stage for the launch of a regular railway transport service between Korea/China and Europe in the first half of 2020. Currently under consideration is a weekly block train (non-stop express freight train) with service that would start from Vostochny Port near Vladivostok, Russia, and close to the border with North Korea. The route seamlessly connects cargo shipped from Korea and China by sea directly to Eastern European destinations, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, covering an impressive railway distance of approximately 11,000 km.


In fact, Pantos initiated test runs of this route in December 2019, transporting battery sub-products (battery cells) and equipment manufactured by LG Chem in Korea and China to Poland. To ensure the secure transport of the high-value cargo (each container carried battery cells valued at USD 400,000), Pantos utilized special containers called reefer containers. These refrigerated containers are used for perishable goods and pharmaceuticals that need temperature control. Although there have been occasional cases of Europe-bound cargo transport in the past, this marked the first time that special cargo demanding extraordinary care was transported in special containers on the TSR, and thus necessitated prior approval from the Russian government’s Federal Agency for Rail Transport.


The introduction of this innovative TSR service addresses the longstanding issue of extended lead time associated with the traditional maritime transportation of special cargo requiring extraordinary care, such as batteries. Pantos asserts that the TSR Route can potentially reduce the lead time by one-third—perhaps even up to half—as the TSR route takes 21 to 23 days, while maritime routes take 35 to 40 days.


Pantos Vice President Lee Yong-ho expressed his enthusiasm about this initiative, stating, “At a time when the global electric vehicle industry is experiencing rapid growth, we are pleased to provide a solution that can innovatively reduce the transportation lead time for customers of exported batteries, the core components of electric vehicles.” He went on to add, “Our fast and stable services will contribute to enhancing the export and import competitiveness of Korean companies.”


Looking ahead, Pantos envisions significant activation of railway transportation bound for Europe. By leveraging the efficiency of block trains when they reach economies of scale, the company plans to expand its business scope to include refrigerated cargo, automotive industry cargo, and battery industry cargo from Korea, China, and Japan.

In the longer run, Pantos aims to prepare for an era in which a “dream railway logistics network” connects the Korean Peninsula to Europe by making use of the Trans-Korean Railway (TKR), which will, in the event of reunification, restore the currently disconnected railway section between North and South Korea. The launch ceremony witnessed the presence of Yoon Sung-ryeon, Head of Logistics Business at KORAIL. 








[Photo Caption] Photo of the MOU Signing: Vice President Lee Yong-ho of Pantos (left) and President Sarahyev of TransContainer (right) signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the exclusive service agreement between the two companies, followed by a commemorative photo.


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