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Tencel train makes 10,000-kilometre journey from Vienna to Shanghai

For the first time in history, Lenzing is sending goods that are 100% produced in Austria, directly to China by train

20th August 2020

Knitting Industry
 |  Vienna, Austria

Intimate Apparel

© Lenzing Group.

Due to a sharp increase in demand from Chinese customers, fibre producer Lenzing is breaking new ground - for the first time in history, the company is sending goods that are 100% produced in Austria, directly to China by train

“The Lenzing Group stands for the ecologically responsible production of specialty fibres made from the renewable raw material wood. Due to the high demand from Chinese brands and retailers for sustainably produced fibers, Lenzing delivers fibers from the two Austrian production sites Lenzing and Heiligenkreuz directly to customers in China by train for the first time,” Lenzing said in a statement this morning.

Departure ceremony with Federal Minister

Austria's first complete train with goods exclusively ‘Made in Austria’, will leave the Vienna South Terminal for China today 11.00 am, on a train provided by Nunner Logistics. In strict compliance with the COVID-19 protective measures, Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, His Excellency Xiaosi Li, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Austria, Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group, Thomas Kargl, Board Member of the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group, Erwin Cootjans, CEO Nunner Logistics and Erich Hampel, Chairman of the Board of the B&C Private Foundation, took part in the departure ceremony.

The train, which starts in Vienna, will take 41 containers with Tencel branded Lyocell and Modal fibers, with a total value of EUR 1.8 million directly to customers in China. On its 16-day trip to Shanghai, the train will cover a total of 10,460 kilometres and pass through seven countries - Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

“With this new transport route, we can meet the high demand from our customers for sustainably produced fibres more quickly. Thanks to train transport, the urgently needed fibres arrive at our customers in China twice as quickly as by sea freight,” says Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group.

Lenzing reports it has had very good experiences with rail transport over a long period of time, delivering the renewable raw material to its plants. Almost 70% of the wood processed at the Lenzing site is already delivered by rail, the company says.

“Our declared goal is to shift more freight traffic to rail. Rail is the only way to combine climate goals and economic interests and thus transport growth. That is why we are happy to be part of this unique project for our long-standing customer,” says Thomas Kargl, Board Member of the ÖBB Rail Cargo Group.

“Transporting goods by rail to China is possible. And this train from Vienna to China is an integral part of climate protection. Because we want to support the shift from road to rail, especially in freight transport. Today's train is the first step – I am convinced this train will set an example,” says Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.

Tencel fibres for the fashion world

For local brands and retailers in China, sourcing sustainable goods is becoming increasingly important, Lenzing reports. For this reason, it says, many manufacturers rely on Tencel fibres, which contribute to a clean environment thanks to the renewable raw material wood and the ecologically responsible production.

The Lenzing Group’s high-quality fibres are biodegradable and form the basis for a variety of textile applications. The Tencel branded Lyocell and Modal fibres transported to China are used to create textiles for the fashion industry.

Tencel Lyocell fibers are known for their natural comfort and environmentally responsible closed loop production process, Lenzing adds. They are often part of breathable fabrics that support the body’s natural thermal regulation as the microscopic fibrils of cellulosic fibres are structured to regulate the absorption and release of moisture, the company says.

“Tencel Modal fibres are known for being exquisitely soft and pleasant to the skin. Measurements and hand evaluations of softness show that Tencel Modal fibres are twice as soft as cotton. The softness of Tencel Modal fibres lasts longer and is able to withstand repeated wash and dry cycles compared to cotton,” Lenzing states.

Lyocell and Modal fibres will arrive in China by train on a route that has been used for centuries – the train transport connects Austria even more closely with the One Belt, One Road program, a reintroduction of the legendary Silk Road, which has been the main transit route between Europe and Asia since ancient times, Lenzing adds.

Erwin Cootjans, CEO of Nunner Logistics commented: “We are proud to be able to connect Vienna to our Chinese rail network in addition to the direct trains we already have. The new connection makes it easier for industry and logistics in Austria and the surrounding countries to trade with and from China."

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