Rail freight transport between China and Europe: A fast and cost-effective option
Alongside air and sea freight, rail freight transport is now an increasingly attractive way of sending goods between China and Europe. The main benefits are speed and cost. Rail freight transport is faster than sea freight, and more cost-effective than air freight.
Advantages of rail freight transport
Speed: Faster than a ship
Cost: Less costly than a plane
In the past few years, rail has positioned itself directly between sea and air, being less costly than air freight and faster than shipping by sea.
Sustainability: More environmentally-friendly than air freight
Rail freight routes between China and Europe
- The southern route through Kazakhstan and southern Russia is most suited for freight to and from central China, e.g. the regions surrounding Chengdu, Chongqing and Zhengzhou.
- The northern route through Siberia is ideal for container transport for the northern regions around Beijing, Dalian, Suzhou and Shenyang. In Europe, the most important terminals are Duisburg and Hamburg in Germany, and Warsaw in Poland.
Rail is ideal for businesses whose goods have a lifespan that is too short to allow shipment by sea. It is also interesting for low-margin products where air freight is too costly.
Consolidate diverse goods in fully-controlled shipments
- Shanghai to Duesseldorf: weekly cargo service filling two 40-foot containers
- Shanghai to Warsaw: six to seven 40-foot containers a week
- Shenzhen to Warsaw: one to two 40-foot containers a week
What to consider when shipping by rail
Intermodal shipments from door to door
Trade sanctions or boycotts
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