China-Europe rail freight comes into its own during Covid-19 pandemic

Release date: 2020-06-24
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RAIL freight from Xian to Europe have seen an increase in volumes this year in response to air cargo supply chains, reports London's Air Cargo News.

'By train, we are able to receive goods in 15 days, whereas air freight takes 10-20 days due to capacity shortages, and it's four times more expensive,' said Netherlands-based GVT Group of Logistics general manager Roland Verbraak.

'Because of this, freight trains are becoming more popular. During the pandemic, we achieved five to six trains a week from China to Europe. This enabled us to continue operating as close to normal business as possible,' said Mr Verbraak.

'I have no doubt that the future is bright for freight trains from China to Europe as many other businesses start to recognise the benefits,' he said.

Statistics from the Xian Xinzhu Station of China Railway Xian Group show that as of May 6 the number of China-Europe freight trains originating in Xian reached 1,000, which was 78 days earlier than the same period last year.

Cargo throughput during the period totalled 1.9 million tonnes, an increase of 41.7 per cent over the same period last year.

In response to Covid-19, Xian opened up a dedicated channel for the trains to help maintain normal operations and support enterprises getting back to business.

This year air cargo supply chains have faced capacity shortages - due to the grounding of bellyhold operations - and airport congestion in China.

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