This Chinese supply chain train goes to Germany by crossing Kazakhstan, Russia & Poland on standard gauge tracks: over 10,214 km in 14 days.

Chinese supply chain train cuts 46 delivery days 

It pulls up to 300 wagons and is driven simultaneously by 25 drivers.

By sea, the containers would take 60 days.

Rail transport is becoming an increasingly important and a competitive transportation mode from East to West. It is predicted that new rail routes between China and Europe will change trade patterns, challenging airlines and shipping companies.

Everybody want to be strong players within rail transport. For China this has led to the initiative of building a “New Silk Road” – en-route tracks through Central Asia. Already a constant flow of trains, each pulling many containers, can be seen passing through the railway station of Astana, the remote capital of Kazakhstan.

Original overland trade routes between Europe and China have mainly been replaced by sea transport via the Cape of Good Hope. However the land route through Central Asia is relatively short. A container ship too large for the Suez Canal has to make a 24,000km journey to reach Europe. Trains travel approximately 11,000km to reach the same destination.

Rail freight between China and Europe is rapidly increasing. In the first half of 2017 the value of goods travelling by train rose by 144% compared with the same period in 2016. Rail transport enables European companies to reduce costs – air freight to Europe is extremely pricey. In November, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) reported that more than 3000 container trains had run between the two continents since the start of 2017, exceeding the total for the previous six years combined and serving 35 cities in China, with 34 destinations in Europe.

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