China Railway Express is here

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China Railway Express is here

Hello everyone. I believe everyone knows that on December 5, 2020, the first China-Europe freight train for cross-border e-commerce in Guangdong Province – Bay Area Code – departed from Shenzhen PingHunan Railway Freight Station. The train, carrying 206,000 parcels, will travel for 16 days and finally stop in Budapest, Hungary, and then clear customs and distribute to various European countries.

China-Europe Railway (The picture comes from China Economic Net:

China-Europe Railway (The picture comes from China Economic Net:


According to reports, all the goods loaded on this train are cross-border e-commerce goods, and the 9610 declaration mode is adopted, which greatly improves the customs clearance time.


Under the current situation that air freight space is tight and one container of sea freight is hard to find, railway transportation has solved the problem of space very well. So, after the opening of the China-Europe freight train, how much impact will it have on air transport? Let’s try to discuss this topic today.


First of all, there is no doubt that this China-Europe train can solve the urgent need for tight positions. Moreover, the cost of rail transportation is lower than that of air transportation. At the same time, combined with a large number of e-commerce goods in Shenzhen, it is really appropriate to choose to open this train in Shenzhen.


However, the departure of the China Railway Express will not have a great direct impact on air transportation. First of all, we know that generally what we do is general goods, only a small amount of e-commerce goods flow out to be shipped by air, and most of the remaining e-commerce goods are not very good at air transportation. Why? Because air freight is expensive. Of course, we also know that there are a lot of e-commerce goods, and the volume is large to a certain extent, and if time is tight, we will consider chartering flights. So for general cargo transportation, it will not have a big impact. On the contrary, e-commerce imports are mostly in the form of air freight​.

At the same time, we can know that the goods on the China-Europe freight train are all packed in containers. Yes, it is a shipping container. This way of transportation shows that if you can’t fill a cabinet, it is easy to lose money. But if a cabinet can not be filled, it is also troublesome. However, the mode of transportation by air determines that the cargo does not need to be considered for loading. Because the quantity is small, go to consol, and if the quantity is large, it will be packaged with board and chartered. Don’t worry about the problem that the cabinet can’t be filled. Generally speaking, a 20-foot cabinet can hold 21T/39cbm, and a 40-foot cabinet can hold 26T/77cbm (this is what I checked, if there is something wrong, you are welcome to correct me). And this data, the general wide-body machine can be loaded.


China-Europe Railway (The picture comes from:

China-Europe Railway (The picture comes from:

Of course, it is not ruled out that some cargo owners really need a lot, with hundreds of squares. Then, in addition to using trains, air charter flights are also a good choice. At this time, although cargo owners are also comparing the advantages and disadvantages of rail transportation and air transportation. But don’t forget that when choosing the method of air transportation, especially the way of chartered flights, his biggest highlight is that he can basically define the take-off time and the type of aircraft independently. And the shipping is super fast. These are unmatched by rail transport.


At this time, shippers usually make multiple-choice questions on the two options of timeliness and cost. You see, from Shenzhen to Budapest, it takes 16 days. But if you go from Guangzhou/Shenzhen/Hong Kong to Budapest, take a commercial flight, which is usually 3 or 4 days. If you have a charter flight, you may arrive after a nap.


So we have to figure out what the owner’s needs are. If he doesn’t have much requirements on the timeliness, then it is very likely that he will choose the lower cost rail transportation method. At this time, it will be inappropriate if we go to grab this customer and send it by air.


Secondly, what kind of goods are transported more by rail now? According to reports, the goods brought by the Bay Area number are mainly electronic products and daily necessities. In the past, many of the railway transportation was mail or small packages from China Post. In fact, China Post has started making small bags very early, and the model is very similar to the current e-commerce, but there was no such thing as e-commerce at that time.


Then, we can be sure again that the railway transportation will definitely not be fast-moving consumer goods and other products that have time requirements. Some time ago, I tried to help a large clothing brand deliver goods. When I asked them why they chose to ship by air, the answer they gave me was that the air is fast. They want to put the clothes of the current season on the shelves. As long as they are on the shelves before their competitors, it is a victory. Therefore, we can develop for this part of customers. Because this part of the customer’s requirement for timeliness is obvious.


But if you’re going to talk to China Post about air freight, it’s probably no use. Except that in reality, China Post will only go to a few designated agents, and China Post will not send every shipment by air. When you talk about it, the chances of success are low.


Therefore, the opening of the China Railway Express will not have a very direct impact on air transport. Usually, the air transport is still by air, and it is difficult for him to change to the air transport for the railway. In fact, the Bay Area Code is not the first China-Europe train, and we can foresee that more China-Europe trains will continue to operate in the future. In addition, the China-Europe freight train can be combined with air transportation and other transportation methods to form a complete set of logistics supporting solutions for different cargo owners to choose. In my opinion, the China Railway Express will also complement and promote each other in air transportation.


Having said all that, have you discovered a business opportunity?

NB: Karron is the owner of the “NatureCalls” Wechat Official Account.

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