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Tianhan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd

The Sino-Euro trains cannot enter the station, and the shipping jumps to the por

The Yantian port terminal is now reopening, but the backlog at the port will take some time to unwind, with many shippers turning to rail once again. According to data from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, in the past May 2021, 1,357  China-Europe trains were launched and 131,000 TEUs were shipped, achieving year-on-year growth of 31% and 40% respectively.

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But Marco Reichel, Asia-Pacific business development director for Crane Worldwide Logistics in Shanghai, believes the impact of shipping congestion is spilling over to rail.


"The railway equipment in southern China is limited, but given the equally serious congestion at Nansha Port, the demand for China-Europe trains will remain high for some time to come, and this phenomenon will continue."

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Robert Foster, business development manager for central and northern China at Norman Global Logistics, agrees that congestion has also spread to the rail hub. "Most major hubs have congestion issues. We have 7 to 10 days of delays in China and 1 to 2 weeks of delays at the Belarus/Poland border crossing," he explained. 


This rail congestion is caused by the congestion at Yantian port and the lack of shipping space. In some cases, ocean carriers are telling customers that they need to wait at least two weeks to get space, and the same is true for railways. Without these knock-on effects, everything is running smoothly, and the waiting time will be shorter. 


Railways have been going through a period of extraordinary times, with demand continuing to rise, and prices being pushed up to record levels due to shortages of containers and cargo space. "The highest price we've heard for a 40-foot box to Hamburg is around $17,000, depending on where the rail is coming from. That's a few hundred dollars more or less," Foster said. "The highest price we've ever seen."


What is the next trend of freight rates for China-Europe freight trains? "We predict prices to rise further in the second half of July as ocean freight rates are still rising and rail tends to follow suit," he said.

Shipping congestion caused a domino effect, and the China-Europe freight train could not get rid of the congestion dilemma. This kind of backlog and congestion appears in China's entry and exit ports, and also in European stations.


When shipping ports are congested, the most common practice of shipping companies is to jump to ports. At present, the port of Rotterdam, the largest container port in Europe, and the port of Hamburg, the second largest container port, have been successively suspended by the two major shipping alliances, 2M and THE. It can be seen that the port congestion is serious.


As far as railways are concerned, the processing and storage capacity of a station also has its upper limit. The backlog of container cargo is serious, and the station cannot receive new trains. It is reported that there are currently trains arriving at one of the most important destinations in Europe, the DIT station in Duisburg, but they have not been able to enter the station; there are also freight forwarders who said that the D3T station in Duisburg also appeared last Friday. short-term congestion.


In Europe, shipping jumped to ports, and China-Europe trains could not enter the station and began to stop at other stations. This is basically a similar result caused by the same problem in different modes of transportation. Analyze the reasons why the station may not be able to pick up the train. It may be that the station does not provide enough Slots. At present, the Slot resources are precious. If the train cannot arrive on time as planned due to front-end delays, the Slots given by the station will be wasted. There is also the possibility that there is too little free space in the yard, and the backlog of container cargo causes congestion.

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At present, foreign media frequently report that there is an extreme shortage of truck drivers in the UK; and it is understood that the current towing fee in Germany has also risen a lot, which shows that the road capacity in Germany is also becoming tight. The backlog of goods arriving at the railway station may be caused by the insufficiency of the importer picking up containers,and that may be related to the speed of customs clearance if it is not carried or cannot be carried.

 

After the outbreak of the epidemic, the demand for cross-border e-commerce exports has soared. E-commerce goods are usually of various types. The customs clearance procedure has always been one of the difficulties for railway import and export. Once the box contains goods that cannot be cleared through customs, the box will not be able to complete the customs clearance procedure smoothly, and if there is a slight delay, the box will have to be piled up at the depot. The whole operation cycle slowed down and the station was congested, so the China Railway Express had to choose a port-hopping move similar to shipping.


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