Sudden spike in demand for China-Europe rail services, post-Suez

Forwarders in China are reporting a sudden spike in demand for Silk Road rail freight, post-Ever Given.

According to Shanghai-based Marco Reichel, APAC business development director at Crane Worldwide Logistics, space on trains to Europe was already tight before the week-long Suez blockage.

He told The Loadstar: “We already had limited space in late March, and for the whole of April, and we now expect capacity to stay almost sold out until May.

“As demand increases, we expect to see rate increases follow,” he added.

Indeed, scarce capacity in both air and ocean helped China-Europe rail volumes to huge gains last year, up 56%, to 1.14m teu and 12,400 train journeys. And in January and February, they were up 96% year on year, with volumes of 209,000 teu, according to Chinese media.