Rail cargo operations from China to Europe has seen a boost in May as air capacity remained tight. 


Data from the Xi’an Xinzhu Station of China Railway showed that the number of trains moving between Xi'an and Europe hit 1,000 as of May 6, more than 2 months earlier than the comparable period in 2019.


Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China –  it marks the starting point of the Silk Road’s eastern end to Europe. 


Cargo throughput during the period reached 1.9 million tonnes, posting a 41.7% increase year-on-year, as shippers considered rail for shipping goods.


Xi'an earlier opened a dedicated channel for the trains to help keep goods flowing between Asia and Europe. 


Air cargo capacity remains under pressure as supply chains are yet to be back to normal as with the majority of passenger flights still remain grounded due to Covid-19.
Customers had to rely on air charters for transport as air cargo disruptions and capacity crunch pushed rates higher. Anemic demand has also pushed sea freight to introduce blank sailings –  also impacting sea freight.


European logistic companies live Davies Turner and DSV has reported a pick-up in rail freight during the pandemic. DHL also recently introduced two new block train connections from Germany to China to meet the heavy demand for alternative transport modes and to speed up transit times to Asia.