When goods from China take the train rather than the boat


DECRYPTION – On November 18, the freight train that left Xian, central China, three weeks earlier, will arrive at Valenton station in the Paris region.

The end of this 9,300 km journey is scheduled for November 18. That day, the freight train that left Xian, in central China, three weeks earlier, will arrive at Valenton station in the Paris region. On board, all kinds of goods distributed in 44 containers: shoes, surgical masks, electric bicycles, rubber, automotive components …

Since July, this train, which notably passes through Kazakhstan, Russia and Poland, has been running twice a month. And the SNCF, which operates it, does not have too many difficulties in filling it. “With the soaring costs of maritime transport, the price differential has become acceptable, explains Xavier Wanderpepen, China-Europe freight director at Forwardis SNCF. Bringing a container from China by train costs 13,000 euros, compared to 10,000 euros per boat. “

In addition, the transit times – three to four weeks by rail, against double by sea – are a strong argument in favor of the railroad.

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