Friday, February 29, 2008

The world just got smaller again, this time by rail.

Sometimes an insignificant article on the back pages of a newspaper can have big effects on world business.

Chinese trade with Europe is about to be revolutionised by the rebirth of the old overland silk route - this time via rail. An alliance of rail operators from the Pacific to the Baltic have just completed a trial run, moving cargo from China to the EU in just 15 days - under half the time it takes to ship containers. The first train, carrying electrical goods, clothes and ceramics from Beijing, arrived in Hamburg late last week, five days ahead of schedule.

Moving heavy inventory around the world is expensive, Fed Ex and UPS do a great job for us, but sometimes we move a lot of heavy equipment to different locations, and it can get complicated. The company that figures out how to get the Containers or Piggy Back cars from this train directly to the European docks with a Roll on Roll off solution, and then onto a fast freight ship to the USA or Canadian East Coast rail lines is going to make a fortune.

It will inevitably happen in one way or another, because time is money.

2 comments:

Nik Simpson said...

Given that they chose Hamburg as the destination, I'm sure the roll-on-roll cargo handling is already in place. Hamburg is amjor shipping center which would already have all the facilities it needs for transhipping cargo containers from ship-to-rail or rail-to-ship in place.

BTW, Hamburg isn't on the Baltic, it's on the North Sea coast of Germany.

Michael Poker said...

Nice post brother, "The world just got smaller again, this time by rail." Agree