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Rail is the third option for transport between China and Europe

"This is a golden product for companies operating with campaign merchandise and goods that have faster life cycles than sea freight can support, while not having a profit margin that can pay for air travel"

Rail transport is (once again) on the rise

The golden age of railways in the 1800’s might be long gone, but rail is entering something of a renaissance on both a regional and global level. Many companies already ship their goods by trains running up, down and across Europe, the United States and even across great landmasses like Russia and the C.I.S. countries.
 
And now there is rail transport between China and Europe. The sheer distance involved is impressive, and so are the obstacles in travelling through some countries that have traditionally been hard to pass. Nevertheless, the lines are now open, and the intercontinental land route is a viable way to transport FCL and LCL cargo as an alternative to the slow sea lanes or the very expensive air transport.
 

 
In fact, SeaIntel predicts that rail transport will grow strongly and start taking market shares from ocean transport over the next 10-year period.
 
"Over the next one or two years, rail transport to and from China will only represent a minor part of the overall volume, but the benefits from being on board are already significant," says Ole Kehler, Route Development Manager to the new issue of DSV’s corporate magazine Moves.

 

German car manufacturers lead the way in rail transport

The pioneers in rail transportation both to and from China are from the German automotive industry. That is one of the reasons DSV started rail transport to and from China and Europe out of Germany with Duisburg as the central hub in Europe and Shanghai, Shenyang, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Suzhou as the main Chinese cities.

Now, several other countries and their customers are coming on-board to take advantage of the faster transport times compared to sea freight and reduced costs compared to air transport – With both freight time and prices expected to decrease even further as the market develops.
 

The DSV rail leadership meet up in China

Customers are ready to use the new option

Many companies are doing test runs from China to Europe and the most agile are scheduling part or all of their transports using rail as the perfect alternative to sea or air shipment.
 
"This is a golden product for companies operating with campaign merchandise and goods that have faster lifecycles than sea freight can support, while not having a profit margin that can pay for air travel," says Palle Fisker, Key Account Executive who is working with sports goods companies that often need a shorter lead time than sea transport can offer.
 

"Rail is the perfect alternative when companies are in need of faster transport but are not willing to pay for air freight. When the time between orders and delivery shortens, the potential for rail increases," he explains.

Who can you contact about rail transport?

To learn more about rail transport in general or the China-Europe lanes in particular, feel free to contact us at rail.solutions@dsv.com. You can also ask your regular DSV contact.

Need a rail connection from Germany to Scandinavia? Please read more here
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