Road2Holland: Rail Freight Netherlands – China kicks off

published: 05-04-2019

The Dutch public-private Partners in International Business on rail freight Netherlands – China have started a three year cooperation, aiming to boost rail freight services between the two countries. Rail freight volumes between China and Europe have strongly increased over the past years as the Chinese initiated New Silk Road has gathered steam. The Netherlands is very well placed for the development of rail freight services to and from China: strategically located in Europe, and with direct and fast hinterland and shortsea connections to 170 million consumers in the largest European markets. These advantages give the Netherlands a strong position as leading hub for international logistics.


A consortium of Dutch companies, including GVT Group, Nunner Logistics, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Port of Amsterdam Authority, Samskip, TMA Logistics, Raillogix, and LTE Group, have now lined up under the banner Road2Holland. The initiative is supported by the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Working together and bringing a shared message is expected to strengthen the Dutch rail freight sector’s business case vis-à-vis the Chinese counterparts. Involvement of the Dutch government through economic diplomacy and government-to-government cooperation will further strengthen the Dutch competitive position.


Freight transport from and to China is still dominated by ocean and air transport. However, over the last few years rail has become available as an alternative mode, offering cheaper prices than air but faster lead times than ocean freight. This has become especially important since the Chinese government launched its 'Belt and Road Initiative' (BRI), or New Silk Road. More rail freight services to and from the Netherlands will benefit Dutch companies, the Dutch transport sector and regions, whilst offering to the market a highly competitive transport product. The Netherlands is now in a position to use is logistics hub function to become a natural end point for intercontinental rail connections.


Road2Holland, with Panteia as coordinator, is a three year public-private Partners in International Business (PIB) programme. It includes different modules, such as Holland Branding & Communication, Government-to-Government cooperation (G2G), Knowledge Exchange and various promotional activities.

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