Maersk’s intercontinental block train service for Decathlon Vietnam on its maiden voyage to France

As part of Maersk’s intermodal solution and building on its experience with intercontinental rail service between Asia and Europe, Maersk has arranged its first dedicated block train for one of the world’s largest global sporting goods retailer Decathlon from Vietnam to Europe.

Maersk’s first dedicated block train from Vietnam to Europe has left Hanoi station on July 29. The twenty-three 40-foot container train is on its way to Zhengzhou, China, and directly from there, it will make the move to Liège, Belgium.

The train is carrying the latest products for Decathlon and all of the cargo will be transported by trucks to their final destination in Dourges and Rouvignies, France, as estimated by the end of August.

“This first block train from Vietnam to Europe for Decathlon will not only achieve reliable lead times, but also provide our customer with improved visibility. This service is also driving synergies between intermodal and rail transport, adding resilience and great value for Decathlon’s supply chain,” said Philippe Dunand, Maersk Global Account Director for Decathlon.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruptions to many industries and global supply chain. However, for the sportswear industry, it is thriving as consumers continue to spend time exercising, as outdoor individual sports and home workouts both see increased participation. Massive orders are piling up at Vietnam’s manufacturers, leading to lack of space to store products.

“As Decathlonian, we engrave the mission “Make sport accessible for the many”. The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging context but also an opportunity to prove our agility in supply chain management. Readiness to try new solutions with a can-do mindset makes us proud to bring happiness to all sport users,” said Lionel Adenot, Decathlon Vietnam Country Leader.

Maersk teams in Vietnam, China and Europe has collaborated to guarantee the smooth transition and service delivery.

“Maersk’s dependability, along with their familiarity with our products and our needs, has proven invaluable. With the block train, we get a totally new transport solution that is efficient, reliable and with a lower impact on the environment. A good alternative solution comes up in the turbulent and pressure period of the traditional transport market,” said Diep Nguyen, Vietnam Logistics Leader at Decathlon.

Despite the severe flooding overwhelmed the city of Zhengzhou last week, which had impact on business activities, the rail services had resumed. Zhengzhou is the junction for the major north-south and east-west rail lines, with connections to most major cities in both domestic and overseas from one of Asia’s largest stations.

Maersk’s dedicated block train service for Decathlon can be traced back to 2017, first departure from China. Since then, the company continues scaling up the intercontinental rail service to meet the growing demand of all customers. In fact, Maersk’s train services between Asia and Europe serve 30 different countries across multiple routes both east and west bound.

“There is a container shortage, limited space in the warehouse, and ocean capacity constraints on the services network. In our constant effort to cater for Decathlon’ specific needs, we are integrating various transport modes to provide agility and flexibility as well as reliability to transport their products. We are currently working on arranging three more block trains to Europe in the following quarter,” explains Rossie Hong Nguyen, Lifestyle and Retail Client Manager, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar Area at Maersk.

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