Advantages of Shipping by Train
Costs less than by shipping by air
Includes delivery & customs clearance all the way to your door
Usually faster than by shipping by sea
An advantage of shipping by train over shipping by air is that while it may be slower, it costs less to ship on a per kg basis. The heavier the shipment, the more cost effective it would be to ship by train instead of air. If delivery speed is not your primary concern, shipping by train may be a better choice than air.
Shipping by train typically includes customs clearance and delivery all the way to your doorstep in your country (known as 'the last mile' delivery). This is unlike shipping by sea where you may sometimes need the help of a customs broker to clear customs (unless you have an import license). When shipping by train, the entire door to door delivery process is taken care of for you.
While shipping by sea to European countries typically takes about 20-35 days, shipping by train to these same countries inclusive of delivery to door typically takes about 20-25 days. The railway transport itself takes about 14-18 days and the remaining time is for delivery to door once your shipment has arrived in your country.
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More About Railway Freight from China to Europe
Compared to shipping by air or sea, shipping by train is relatively less well known but cost-effective alternative that we highly recommend. Currently available for shipments to European countries only, train shipping is less expensive than shipping by air and logistically easier to handle than shipping by sea. Also, railway freight is typically inclusive of customs cleareance in your country of import, along with delivery all the way to your doorstep.
Railway Lines from China to Europe
Currently the main railway shipping routes from China to Europe are the Yiwu-London Line and the Yiwu-Madrid Line, while there are also railway routes from China to Hamburg, Rotterdam and Warsaw.
The Yiwu-London Line covers roughly 12,000 kilometers, making it the longest railway freight route in the world. The entire route takes 18 days to complete and covers the following countries: : China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France, UK. Since UK and France are not landlocked, in order to get to the UK from France, trains pass through the Channel Tunnel between the two countries.
The Yiwu-Madrid Line covers roughly 10,000 kilometers and passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and France along the way to Madrid. Together with the other various railway routes to Europe, virtually all countries in Europe are covered and which route we will use for shipping to you will depend on which European country you're in.
Trade between China and the EU
Opening up the railway freight shipping route between China and Europe is part of China's intention the revive the Silk Trade route of centuries ago in order to promote and faciliate trade between China and European countries. It is also part of China's 'One Belt One Road' policy. Even if we take the European Union (EU) alone without accounting for the whole of Europe, the European Union and China are two of the biggest traders in the world. China is now the EU's second-biggest trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China's biggest trading partner. China is the EU's biggest source of imports and its second-biggest export market. China and the EU trade over €1 billion a day on average. Currently China exports over 500 billion dollars worth of goods to Europe per year, and this amount is growing each year.
Hence railway freight/cargo is becoming an increasingly critical part of facilitating trade between China and Europe. If you have a large shipment to send to Europe (typically at least 100kg in weight), you may contact us to get our warehouse address to send your goods to in China and get the shipping process to Europe started.