China\’s Land Bridge Rail Route Hits Air Cargo

Beijing\’s rail routes will hit airlines flying cargo between China and Europe hard. \”One Belt, One Road\” connects China to Southeast Asia, Middle East, Europe and North Africa.

Trains depart two times per week from Shenzhen, a central hub that brings Cargo from most industrial areas of China, to Hamburg with a transit of 15-16 days. Costs are up to ten times more than sea freight. This service allows European importers a time saving of around two weeks. An alternative to air freight, with lower cost. In the first year of service, however, delays have been common.
Currently UK importers have little opportunity to benefit as there is no raillink from Hamburg to UK.

The new rail service, however, is highly beneficial for the logistics industry. As the \”One Belt, One Road\” strategy also allows shipping of less than a container load, many more shippers can profit from the lower charges. Rail holds especially high potential for high value, small quantum and seasonal goods and is expected to grow strongly during the next years.

Still, it is expected that most of the containers continue to be shipped via ocean, as the railway has limited capacity and the transportation price for rail is so much higher.

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