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International Railroad Discussion > WSJ: Coronavirus Has Been a Boon for China’s Railways

Date: 05/13/20 04:11
WSJ: Coronavirus Has Been a Boon for China’s Railways
Author: JPB

Warning! Pay wall!

Sub head: "With the pandemic choking sea and air freight, companies turn to the trains revived as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative"

"...Railways that China has revived in recent years, connecting the country to Europe through Central Asia, just notched their busiest month yet. China Railway Corp., which operates the trains in China, said it recorded 976 trips in April, a 47% increase year-over year. The trains were carrying cargo equivalent to the capacity of four of the world’s largest container ships..."
"...Ocean shippers have been canceling sailings because of pandemic’s disruption to global factory output and a slump in consumer demand for many goods. Air freight rates surged as companies sought alternative shipping modes and as global airlines slashed passenger flights, which typically carry some commercial cargo..."
"...To send a container from China to Germany by rail, a shipper needs to pay about one-third of the total $7,500 cost, Mr. Yan said, with the Chinese authorities paying the rest. At pre-coronavirus rates, sending a container by sea cost about $1,500, or $20,000 by air, Mr. Yan said. Air rates have since soared: The cost of flying cargo between Shanghai and Europe, for example, quintupled between March and May to over $10 per kilo, according to the TAC index, which provides price information for air freight. The new business that has flocked to the railways could fall away again as logistical networks return to normal after the pandemic, Mr. Hillman said..."


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