The Silk Road is one of the world's oldest trade routes. Merchants once travelled the Silk Road to transport silk and spices from Asia to Europe. An exceptional transport journey from Altenberge to the Chinese industrial metropolis of Wuhan follows the legendary route which Marco Polo once took on his journey to China.
The Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit is parked outside Schmitz Cargobull's main plant in Altenberge. Valerij Pisanov prepares his workplace in the driver's cab for the coming weeks. He is preparing to travel to Wuhan, where the construction of Schmitz Cargobull's new plant is in full swing. The first vehicles are expected to run off the production line during the second half of the year.
A modern-day adventure
The Russian journalist and passionate trucker will accompany some of the equipment for Schmitz Cargobull's state-of-the-art production facility to China. He will record his experiences during the long journey. Pisanov publishes a locally popular blog for long-haul truck drivers, dalnoboi.org. He looks forward to getting back behind the wheel of a truck for this modern-day adventure. The Salzburg company, Vega, handles the transport. It specialises in transferring commercial vehicles worldwide. Vega's managing director, Wolfgang Werner, also looks forward to reliving the experience of being on the road. He will share the driving work with Pisanov until they reach the Belarusian border.
Following in Marco Polo's footsteps
Valerij Pisanov expects the journey to take three to four weeks. The route is from Altenberge to the Chinese city of Wuhan is approximately 11,000 km and passes through Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. In Marco Polo's day the journey to Asia took years. At times it took more than a decade for people back home to hear news of the journey. Luckily, things are very different today: Pisanov is travelling with a laptop and a camera. He will post reports online covering his tour through Europe and Asia and his adventures with Schmitz Cargobull on the Silk Road.