Posts access Asia-Europe rail network to reduce huge mail backlog

16.04.2020 - Berne. In a world first, mail-only trains from China are helping clear the huge backlog of mail destined for Europe and deliver medical supplies.

The first train, the "China Post" CR Express 1st block train, was unloaded in Vilnius, Lithuania, on April 12* carrying mail and two containers of medical supplies. Transport takes between 12-14 days.

Speaking about the utilization of European and Asian rail networks, the UPU’s Director of Postal Operations Abdelilah Bousseta said, “Sometimes supreme challenges can lead to good ideas and produce simplified solutions. At present, given the current situation, the train network is one of the very best solutions for moving the huge volumes of mail.”

Each train carries around 300 tons of mail and are the result of cooperation between China Post, Lithuania Post, Polish Post and railway operators. Around 2,000 tons of mail is slated for rail transport from China in the next 2-3 months.

Many of the train journeys end in Lithuania, although other trains go to Poland. Trucks then take the mail to their final destination in more than 30 countries spread across Europe.

The use of the rail network to deliver mail is a success for the Universal Postal Union’s Supply Chain Team, which has championed the rail network for the delivery of mail between Europe and Asia. At present, the team is working with representatives from Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, among others.

Noor Adan, the UPU’s Global Supply Chain Coordinator, said about the project, “The Universal Postal Union is proud to work with postal operators and railway operators to ensure that the international postal service continues during this crisis.”

*An earlier version of this press release said the arrival date for the train in Vilnius was 14 April.


The Universal Postal Union is a UN specialized agency with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne. Established in 1874, it is one of the world’s oldest international organizations and is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players.

For further information, please contact:


David Dadge


Universal Postal Union (UPU)

Mobile: +41 76 457 36 54

Work: +41 31 350 31 23


Press release


Comments (1)

  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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