Latvia's state-owned railway company Latvijas dzelzcelš (LDz) and freight service provider DHL Global Forwarding have signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation (MUC) to focus on establishing multi-modal rail connections between China and Latvia.

The new agreement will see the establishment of both freight connections and consolidation services, centred at Latvia's capital Riga City.

The new connections are set to include guaranteed transit times, as well as simplify customs and handling procedures for cargo transportation.

It will also support for more flexible shipments such as less-than-container load (LCL) freight.

DHL Global Forwarding Greater China CEO Steve Huang said: “With the economies of Latvia and its neighbours expected to grow faster than the rest of the European Union, businesses in the region will need to look to new markets such as China to fuel their expansion.

“By building rapid, reliable logistics connections between the Baltic and Asia Pacific, we hope to give the region's businesses a strong foundation for ongoing growth.”

"By building rapid, reliable logistics connections between the Baltic and Asia Pacific, we hope to give the region’s businesses a strong foundation for ongoing growth."

The MUC was signed at a time when DHL has begun its service along its newest Asia-Europe multimodal route through rail, which connects Shenzhen to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

DHL has previously made similar agreements with the national rail providers of Belarus, Chengdu and other major hubs that fall within China's proposed ‘Belt and Road’ trade routes.

The MUC agreement is expected to help Baltic countries utilise export opportunities in China and also in the Asia Pacific region, with Riga city functioning as the logistical hub, after the establishment of high-speed multimodal rail routes.

Additionally, the new arrangement also includes terms concerning ocean freight between Latvia, Scandinavia, and the UK and Ireland, as well as air and road freight connections to various major cities across Europe.

Image: A RVR train in Riga city, Latvia. Photo: courtesy of Texaner via Wikipedia.