Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (2024)

In recent years, China has made sizable investments in the rail network between Asia and many European countries. This has been done under the Belt and Road Initiative and has led to a serious expansion of rail terminals and networks in many countries.

If you’re new to rail shipping, it might seem complicated and stressful. However, railway shipping offers a viable option for many shippers, providing a cost-effective, secure, and environmentally friendly way to transport large quantities of goods.

This article will provide the basic information you need to know about rail shipping. It would benefit importers and businesses who could exploit this effective means of shipping.

Railway Shipping: What does it mean?

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (1)

Railway shipping is a means of transporting goods through freight trains and rail lines. The process generally involves loading the goods onto rail cars, which are then transported to their destination by rail.

Rail freight transport is quickly becoming a very attractive method of sending goods between China and Europe. It is regarded as a great alternative to other modes of shipping in addition to providing variety when shipping goods.

Rail freight service is also the perfect compromise between air and sea freight; It is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight.

The way freight is transported between China and Europe has significantly changed thanks to the new Silk Express rail link.

Today, many Chinese cities offer rail shipping, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Dongguan. It is, therefore, a mode of transport that can be used from anywhere close to your supplier in China.

Railway transportation: Advantages

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (2)

Fast speed: faster than ocean freight

One of the biggest benefits of rail freight transport is that it can ship heavy freight in a much shorter time than sea freight. For example, rail freight from China to Europe typically takes about 15-18 days, half of the time spent with sea freight, and avoids delays.

These quicker transit times enable businesses to sell their products faster with increased cost savings on the supply chain and help to lower their tied-down capital and operating revenues.

Also, shipping by rail provides a more viable option than sea freight for high-value products like electronics, building materials, and mechanical equipment.

Less expensive than air freight

Rail freight is a much cheaper alternative to air freight. Air freight can be four times more expensive than rail freight shipping.

While sea freight is the cheapest shipping mode, many importers avoid this mode because of the long transit time. Thus, despite much higher costs, air freight is used when speed is crucial.

The increasing popularity of train freight provides importers a third and much cheaper option.

It is an environmental Shipping method.

Rail freight transport is a superior mode of transportation from an environmental standpoint compared to air and sea freight. Its major advantage is that it releases less CO2 and exhaust emissions into the environment, making it environmentally friendly unlike truck and air freight.

As the world is looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions released into the atmosphere, rail freight is considered the right step forward.

Railway freight from China transit time

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (3)

The rail freight transit time from China depends on the following factors:

  • The loading and destination terminal
  • The rail route chosen
  • The type of goods shipped
  • The container load type used, i.e., FCL or LCL.

It will take an additional 5 days and cost more if you prefer a door-to-door service using rail freight.

Things to consider when rail freight from China

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (4)
  1. Check whether the items you import are acceptable in your local country– Rail freight comes with requirements for shipping items, and some are not acceptable by different country customs. So it will be a high cost to return items out of China.
  2. Check the temperature requirements for itemsThe differences between China and the destination country must be considered when shipping through rail freight. Some goods are temperature sensitive, like shipping perishables, and they can be affected by temperature differences during transit. For example, it might be warm when the goods are shipped from China but freezing in Russia or the Canadian pacific when they are transported. This temperature change may impact the quality of the goods.Ask your freight forwarder what steps should be taken when shipping items that need to be transported and stored at a specific temperature.
  3. Check whether the goods are packed correctlySince there is long distances shipping by rail freight, after which the goods arrive at the destination station and will be delivered to the final door by EXPRESS drivers or trucks, it is best to pack goods properly avoid losses and damages. Rail freight is a multiple transport method to the final delivery.

Rail freight from China to Europe.

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (5)

Rail freight from China to Germany: Costs and time.

Average costs.

Although prices can vary depending on the time of year, an FCL container traveling by rail network from China to Germany will typically cost $13,500 in 2021–2022 via rail shipping rates.

However, the average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $2/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 14-16 days from China to Germany. Door-to-door shipments take 20-25 days.

Rail freight from China to the UK: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container is traveling by rail lines from China to the UK costs around $8000-$12000. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $2.5/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 14-16 days from China to the UK, and it usually takes an extra 5 days for the goods to arrive at your door after customs clearance.

Rail freight from China to the Netherlands: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by i railroads from China to the Netherlands costs around $8000. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $2.3/kg.

Average time

Rail freight from China to the Netherlands can take three routes.

From China through Hamburg in Germany to the Netherlands takes 20 days.

From Chengdu, China to Tilburg, Netherlands takes 18 days.

From Zhengzhou, China, to Duisburg, Germany, takes 12 days.

Rail freight from China to Italy: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to Italy costs around $7000. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $3/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 15-22 days from China to Italy.

Rail freight from China to Austria: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container is traveling by rail from China to Austria costs around $10000. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg-$2.9/kg,

Average time

Rail freight takes about 14-16 days from China to Austria.

Rail freight from China to Romania: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to Romania costs around $70-$80 per cbm and $8000 for an FCL container. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $3/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 20-25 days from China to Romania. This would save 15 days compared to sea shipping.

Rail freight from China to Switzerland: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to Switzerland costs around $10000 and $80 per cbm. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $1.0/kg-$2.9/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 14-17 days from China to Switzerland.

Rail freight from China to Sweden: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to Sweden costs around $8000 and $50 per cbm. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $3.3/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 18-24 days from China to Sweden.

Rail freight from China to the Czech Republic: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to the Czech Republic costs around $9000. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.8/kg – $3/kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 18-22 days from China to the Czech Republic, which saves 10-15 days compared to sea freight.

Rail freight from China to Denmark: Costs and time.

Average costs.

An FCL container traveling by rail from China to Denmark costs around $7000 and $60 per cbm. The average cost of rail freight for LCL goods, including customs and duty fees, is $0.9/kg – $2.5/kg for goods between 100kg to 300kg.

Average time

Rail freight takes about 18-22 days days from China to Denmark.

Where to find a Rail freight shipping agent from China?

DFH has over ten years of experience shipping goods from China through Rail transport. We are the best logistics provider with great efficiency in supply chains. Here are the services we can offer you as the best freight forwarder in China:

  • We have office locations in the major cities in Mainland China; hence we can pick up your cargo within three hours from your supplier’s factory, regardless of the city.
  • We will also help you optimize packaging space for your goods to lower costs.
  • We will handle all forms of clearance involved.
  • We will transport your goods to any destination in Europe.

You can check the other benefits we offer at DFH to know how well our services are tailored to meet your needs efficiently. Ready to ship? Get a quote today.

FAQs about shipping by train

Is shipping by rail cheaper than ship?

No. Rail freight is typically more expensive than shipping by ship.

How long does train freight take from china to the UK?

Rail freight takes 20 to 25 days to deliver goods from China to the UK.

How much does it cost to ship something on a train?

Rail shipping costs depend on both countries’ loading and destination terminals. Check here to get an accurate quote.

Is there a railway from China to Europe?

Yes, a well-developed railway network between China and Europe was constructed under the Belt and Road initiative.

Is there a freight train from China to the UK?

Yes, top-notch freight trains deliver goods from China to the Uk.

Is there a rail line from China to Germany?

Yes. A popular, well-developed rail line delivers goods from China to Germany.

How much does it cost to ship a container by rail?

The cost of shipping a container by rail depends on the goods type and the destination country. Generally, an FCL full container load that travels by rail from China to Europe typically costs around $10,000.

Conclusion

Rail freight is a very simple and easy-to-use mode of transportation. However, you require the services of a reputable freight forwarder to help you negotiate the technicalities involved in shipping freight from China. Contact DFH today, and let us handle every aspect of your rail shipping.

Railway Shipping from China: Quick and Cost-Effective | DFH (2024)

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