The premium pricing and congestion at major hub airports is leading more shippers to consider rail from China to Europe as a less expensive alternative to air for a range of goods, including clothing, paper, consumer goods, electronics, and industrial components.
Rail transport is up to 50% faster than sea freight and up to 60% cheaper than airfreight, according to European logistics specialists.
The railroad joint venture that operates a line through Belarus, Kazakhstan and and Russia said July container volume of 54,200 TEU was 76% more than a year ago and set a record. China shipments to Europe doubled and loaded containers from Europe grew by 80%. For the first seven months of the year, traffic is up 267%.