Lenzing delivers fibers from Lenzing and Heiligenkreuz directly to customers in China by train for the first time.
Lenzing delivers fibers from Lenzing and Heiligenkreuz directly to customers in China by train for the first time.

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

Departure ceremony with Federal Minister

Austria's first complete train with goods exclusively “Made in Austria” left the Vienna South Terminal towards China on August 20. The train was loaded with Lenzing fibers and 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 started at Vienna, brought 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 covers a total of 10,460 kilometers and passes seven countries: Austria, the 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 fibers more quickly. Thanks to train transport, the urgently needed fibers arrive at our customers in China twice as quickly as by sea freight,” said Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group.

Lenzing has had good experiences with rail transport for a long time when it comes to delivering the renewable raw material wood to its plants. Almost 70% of the wood processed at the Lenzing site has been already delivered by rail.

“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,” said 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 transports. Today's train is the first step,” added Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.

Sustainable materials become important in China

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

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

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

Lyocell and Modal fibers arrived in China by train on a route that has been used for centuries: this train transport has connected Austria even more closely with the One Belt, One Road program - a reintroduction of the legendary Silk Road. Erwin Cootjans, CEO of NUNNER Logistics, expressed, “The new connection makes it easier for industry and logistics in Austria and the surrounding countries to trade with and from China."