Rail Freight Market Overview. April 2024


Transit time and possible transport corridors on the China — Europe — China route


Remarkable demand for rail services in the China—Europe direction continues. The transit time by high-speed rail from terminal to terminal is 13-15 days from China to Poland, 18-21 days to Germany. Transit time from Xi’an to Duisburg is 13 days as speed trains have priority on the China — Kazakhstan border. But delays on China — Kazakhstan border, and floods in Russia may affect certain trains.


The reduction in eastbound train departures has led to a space tight. The rates for rail transportation in the Europe — China connection increased slightly. With the latest sanctions package, transit times may be extended on the Malaszewicze-Brest EU border. Some of the shipments are denied export out of EU, resulting in certain block train delays. The transit time from terminal to terminal is 18-22 days, from Germany to China —12-15 days.

China/ Europe — Turkey & Central Asia Service from China/Europe to Kazakhstan, Central Asia and South Caucasus (e.g. Azerbaijan) is available. Direct West-& Eastbound service between China/Europe & Turkey planned in April; alternative connection to Turkey via Western corridor and Poland/Hungary — available. Middle Corridor (2 Seas via Caspian and Black sea) — available.

Red Sea situation update

Vessels continue to route via Cape of Good Hope. Transit time extended by average 10 days due to rerouting via Cape of Good Hope. To ensure fast access and speed of containers Westbound, first port of call in Europe is changed to Barcelona, followed by Koper for sailings via Cape of Good. From Koper, Eastbound vessels are routed via Cape of Good Hope to China with first port call at Qingdao followed by Ningbo and Da Chan Bay.

Major corridors connecting Europe and Asia are:

1) The duration of the Western Corridor is 22-26 days. The route passes through China — Kazakhstan — Russia — Belarus — Poland.

2) The duration of the Northern Corridor is 22-26 days. The route passes through China — Russia — Belarus — Poland.

3) The duration of the Middle (Trans-Caspian) corridor is 50-55 days. The route passes through China — Kazakhstan — the Caspian Sea — Azerbaijan — Georgia — Turkey.

4) The duration of the Southern Multimodal Corridor via the Suez Canal is 28-30 days.

5) The duration of the Southern Multimodal Corridor via the Cape of Good Hope is 44-45 days.

6) The duration of the multimodal corridor through Dubai is 29-30 days.

7) The duration of the multimodal corridor through Long Beach is 18-23 days.

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Source: Global Times