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New rail service Yiwu-Amsterdam

New rail service Yiwu-Amsterdam

International rail transport is on the rise. It is expected that by 2020 18% of all containers will be transported by rail. The rail connection “the New Silk Road” between China and Europe plays a major role in this and offers many opportunities for Dutch importers and exporters. In addition to the direct connection between Chengdu and Tilburg that was established in 2016, a new one between Yiwu and Amsterdam was launched this month. What are the specifications and opportunities of this rail connection?


Yiwu-Amsterdam in 16 days

Yiwu is only 290 kilometres from Shanghai, the largest city in China. Therefore, it is an interesting destination for both import and export. The goal is to make the 11,000-kilometre journey between Amsterdam and Yiwu in just 16 days. In that case a consignment will take, on average, 20 days to reach its final destination – including the door-to-door transport. This would make it the fastest connection to the Chinese East Coast.

The train currently leaves Yiwu for Amsterdam and vice versa once a week. China is making substantial investments in the rail corridors on the “New Silk Road”, which is expected to quickly increase the frequency to 2-3 times a week. Both FCL (40′) and LCL can be booked on the train between Yiwu and Amsterdam.

Rail service Yiwu Amsterdam

Map data ©2018 Google

Transit times, costs and product groups

In terms of costs and transit times, railway transport is exactly in between ocean and air freight. Compared to sea freight, rail freight reaches its final destination up to twice as fast. This includes door-to-door transport. This is approximately three times more expensive than sea freight. Air freight, with a transit time of 3 days, is considerably faster but costs on average 6 times more than rail transport.

Freight transport by rail is an interesting option for a wide range of products. Because of the transit times and costs, however, it is a popular form of transport, particularly among certain product groups. For example, high-value goods, including high-end fashion, steel products and electronics, are frequently transported by rail. But a lot of foodstuffs, such as baby food and drinks, are also transported to China and the Netherlands by train.


Are you interested in booking an import or export shipment by train?

Our agent in China is locally represented and already has extensive experience in rail transport. If you are interested in hearing more about the options or if you would like to book a shipment right away, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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