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and new rail freight connection improves logistics

On-site roll forming of growing gutters helps Chinese horticulture develop

The Chinese horticultural market is developing at a rapid pace and many large-scale products are being realized. As you can imagine, the construction of these greenhouses cannot start without materials and machines. Machines and materials that often come from Dutch companies, for whom it is a challenge to get everything on location quickly and simply. An improved rail freight connection via the New Silk Road, and the realization of a logistics center in the Chinese free trade zone Zhangjiagang, has recently made it a lot easier for suppliers to get there. 

"We knew that it would be faster, but that our machine would be on location in China within 14 days by train was beyond expectations," says Marc Staring, Export Manager for Meteor Systems.

Chinese market
Like more and more other horticultural suppliers, Meteor Systems is increasingly active in China. Their activities include projects for the horticultural as well as the floricultural market: both vegetable projects as well as floral projects are currently realized or planned.

The demand from the Chinese market encourages Meteor Systems to increase their presence in China. In order to increase the efficiency, the company decided it was time to keep a roll-forming machine for growing gutters in the country full time. This way the project costs will be lower and the efficiency will be higher. "Now that we have more and more projects in China, we want to be able to respond faster to questions from customers in China and the rest of Asia", Marc says.  

New Silk Route
The machine was the first Meteor Systems machine that was transported via the improved New Silk Route rail link. This prestigious Chinese project has been used for several years now for transportation between China and Europe. 

“We used to transport our materials and machines by boat. It takes 32 days from Rotterdam to Shanghai. And then the same materials still had to be transported over distances of about 3,000-6,000 km inland." 

Logistics center with financial benefit
Transport by train is more expensive than by boat, but in addition to a considerable gain in time (on average, the train journey from a Dutch or German station takes 18 to 20 days) and extra flexibility it also brings a financial advantage. A logistics park in the free trade zone in Zhangjiagang is key in this advantage. 

Rob Brekelmans from Claasen Logistics - that paved the way for Meteor and future horticultural suppliers, explains how this works with the complicated Chinese import rules.

“Normally machines or materials that are temporarily imported, have to be exported again within six months. This does not apply to the Zhangjiagang logistic park. Since this park serves as a leasing company, it is possible to store goods here longer, until they are sold. A second benefit from this free trade zone is that the customs and clearance costs only have to be paid when machines or materials leave the zone - when they are sold." 

The transports are carried out by Coastlink, Joint Venture partner of Claasen Logistics. In China, Coastlink works together with MultiModal Link-MML with which a strategic alliance has been established."

Bridge to other Asian countries
The products then can be transported to the project either in China itself, but also in other Asian countries. "The logistics park with the cargo train connection also offers a solution for trade with these countries", says Rob. 

"We can also reach other Asian countries more easily," Marc confirms - however, from the planning it is confirmed there are several Chinese projects to be realized first. "Currently there's a tomato project in China to be realized. And a number of projects will follow in the fall, for which we will use the roll-forming machine as well."

For more information:  
Meteor Systems B.V.
Minervum 7081
4817 ZK Breda
The Netherlands
+31 (0)76 504 28 42
[email protected]

Coastlink B.V.
[email protected]

Harry Witjes
+31 (0)13 571 33 89

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