According to FT newspaper, the number of rail freight traffic from China to Europe increased by 50% in 2020.
The increase in the time of delivery of goods by sea and the lack of containers have made the transportation of goods to Europe by land through Russia an attractive alternative for Chinese business. This was reported on Sunday by the British newspaper Financial Times, citing sources in the transport industry.
The publication emphasized that in the first two months of 2021, more than 2 thousand freight trains were sent from China to Europe. This is twice as much as in the same period a year earlier. In general, in 2020, the number of rail freight traffic from China to Europe increased by 50%, and since 2016 – seven times.
The Financial Times experts also named the increase in the cost of transportation by sea as the reason for the change in logistics.
As the newspaper noted, the rapid economic recovery of the PRC after the coronavirus pandemic allowed the country to “dominate global trade in the second half of 2020.” According to the Financial Times, due to the introduction of quarantine in many countries of the world, there has been an increased demand for various electronic devices and household appliances from China. At the same time, the long transportation of goods by sea forced Chinese companies to turn to an alternative route – by land through Russia and the Central Asian states.
At the same time, the share of total Chinese exports transported by rail is negligible, the newspaper said. About 2 million containers were shipped through the Yangshan port in Shanghai alone in January, compared to 209,000 rail containers in total in the first two months of 2021.