Germany is a country that is on the New Silk Road route. Cooperation between Germany and China is considered prosperous. Germany was the first European country to start the expansion of goods to China. According to data from 2015, Germany was the most significant business partner of China in Europe, while for Germany, China is the third most important global partner and the first in Asia. Transport between these two countries is constantly evolving. Goods can now be delivered not only by sea but also by rail to terminals in Germany. See how rail connections from China to Germany look like.
Freight train from China to Germany
China sent the first test trains to Germany as early as in 2005. However, in 2015, the trains covering this route were already 400.
The German railway transports record quantities of goods from China. In 2016, the German railway Deutsche Bahn carried more than 40,000 containers between these two countries.
From 2011, Deutsche Bahn transports, among others for BMW parts from Leipzig and Regensburg to car plants located in the Chinese city of Shenyang.
Railway terminals in China
The main terminals in Germany are mainly the cities of Duisburg and Hamburg.
Duisburg is often referred to as the central point in Europe for the Chinese Silk Road. At present, about 25 trains a week arrive from China to Duisburg. It seems a lot, but compared to the entire transport between Asia and Europe, it is not much.
The popular route connecting Chongqing with Europe is over 11,000 km long and started operating on August 31, 2012. The route begins in Chongqing, then passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and goes to the German city of Duisburg.
At the terminal in Duisburg, where the railway tracks run straight to the bank of the Rhine, the goods are loaded directly onto ships, stored for further shipment in one of several warehouses or sent by train or truck to Greece, Spain or the United Kingdom.
The connection between the international terminal in Changchun (Jilin Province) and Hamburg is also popular. The train journey lasts from 12-15 days, and the route passes through Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia, through Russia, Belarus, and Poland, until it goes to Hamburg.
Besides, there are also regular connections from Zhengzhou to Hamburg.
Rail transport time from China to Germany
Depending on the route, a train from China to reach Germany needs between 14 and 18 days. Railway operators also create rail connections from various cities in China. This allows the route of goods to be shortened from the shipper to the rail terminal and reduces the transport cost.
Goods by rail are transported from major Chinese industrial centers such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dongguan, Hangzhou, Harbin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nankin, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, Jinan, Wuhan, Changchun, Xi’an, Shenyang, Hefei, Xiamen, Taiyuan, Changsha.
Plans for rail transport China – Germany
The German transport company dealing with rail transport – Deutsche Bahn in 2017 transported over 40,000 containers (compared to 35,000 containers in 2015). The company intends to carry over 100,000 containers already in 2020.
Rail connections from China to Germany
Rail transport is undoubtedly an interesting alternative to sea or air transport. The travel time is shorter than in the case of sea transport, while prices are much lower than those for air transport.
Besides, the use of rail transport is much safer when it comes to shipping goods. The possibility of destroying the container during shipping is minimal.
Also, rail transport is more environmentally friendly. Emission of sulfur dioxide is five times lower than in the case of air transport.
For the German railway, rail transport is a good deal.
Freight train from China to Germany – Who chooses rail transport?
The mentioned Deutsche Bahn brings out that the railway carriage seemed a particularly interesting option for clothing, electronics, and car parts manufacturers due to the competitive delivery time.
Products from Yiwu, Chongqing or Wuhan often reach Duisburg.
Usually, toys, clothes, and electronics are transported from China to Germany. From Germany to China, German cars, Scotch whiskey, French wine, and fabrics are usually carried.