Rail Freight Market Overview. June 2024


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


Remarkable demand for rail services in the China—Europe direction continues. There is congestion on main corridor at China—Kazakhstan borders crossings due to massive volumes and terminal departure delays from China. While transit times extended, rail remains fastest solution to move containers from China to Europe.

There are pick-up queues at Poland— Belarus border (Malaszewicze) due to public holidays (May-June) and implementation of new trucking slot booking system/process. The transit time by high-speed rail from terminal to terminal is 20 days from China to Poland, 24 days to Germany. Transit time from Xi’an to Duisburg is 13 days as speed trains have priority on the China — Kazakhstan border.


Cargos with HS Codes 84, 85, 87 affected by Polish customs office with tightened document requirements. The transit time from terminal to terminal is 18-22 days, from Germany to China —12-15 days.

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 28-30 days. The route passes through China — Kazakhstan — Russia — Belarus — Poland.

2) The duration of the Northern Corridor is 30-32 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.

Analytics on topic
As BRI enters 10th year of development, China-Europe freight train set to see ‘explosive growth’ in 2023

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global cooperation platform that demonstrates China’s vision and provides solutions to the reform of the global governance system and multifaceted challenges.

What is the China-Europe Railway Express, and how much pressure is it under from the Ukraine crisis?

The China-Europe Railway Express, or China Railway Express (CRE), is key logistical cog in President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. It provides an alternative to container shipping for transporting Chinese manufactured goods to Europe via Russia.

Source: South China Morning Post