Rail Freight Forwarder China

Your Best Freight Forwarder in China
  • We offer very competitive railway freight rates.
  • Vast experience in railway shipping, especially large out of gauge goods.
  • Professional team specialized in railway shipments.
  • Assistance in producing all the necessary documentation.
  • Guidance on loading and reinforcing the goods in the container balance, based on the requirements from the railway company.
  • The best solutions based on the project.
  • Fast quotation.
Ask Better Sea Freight Rate
Full Container Load (FCL)Railway Shipping from China
Full Container Load (FCL)Railway Shipping from China

Now the railway shipping route is very mature from China to Europe, Russia and Central Asia, The transit time is between by sea and by air.Due to strict policy to safe the goods in loading station, unbalance loading is very important, Bansar has a professional team to guide shipper how to load the shipping goods in the container well, we also can load the shipment goods if the shipper can not do it.

Less Than Container Load(LCL) Railway Shipping from China
Less Than Container Load(LCL) Railway Shipping from China

For LCL shipment goods, it means the goods cannot fill a whole container, it’s  better to choose railway shipping service for LCL shipment goods, one reason is to save transit time, another is to save cost, actually sometimes the total cost is cheaper by railway than by sea because of high charge for LCL in destination port.

Railway Carriage
Railway Carriage

For some huge quantity shipping goods for your project, you’d better use railway carriage to ship the goods, it can save cost compare to use container, like firebrick, steel pipes, construction material, etc. Bansar team also has rich experience to handle the shipping goods by railway carriage.

Calculate Your Shipping Cost From China

Railway Freight Shipping from China: The Ultimate Guide

With the rapid development of the railway, you can choose many railway routes for your goods.

For example China to Europe, China to Russia, China to Central Asia.

The railway freight is between ocean freight and air freight, the transmit time also between ocean and air.

Bansar provides professional railway service to your country from any cities in China, so it is very convenient and efficient to ship your goods from China by railway.

Railway Shipping from China: The Definitive Guide for Importers

This guide covers everything you need to know about railway shipping from China to Europe, Russia or Central Asia.

If you are looking for an alternative to air freight or ocean freight, then you’re in the right place.

Because I am going to cover everything about rail freight from China to different destinations.

The bottom line:

In case you’re planning to use railway shipping from China, then I have made this guide for you.

Chapter 1: BanSar Rail Freight Services

Do you wish to try something different?

Well, at BanSar, we offer rail freight to different destinations in Europe, Central Asia and Russia.

Whether you want full container load (FCL) or less than container load (LCL) railway shipping from China to Europe, Russia or Central Asia, you can count on BanSar.

We have a professional team with vast knowledge on railway shipping who handles all the packaging and loading.

Our team inspects all cargoes to ensure there is no possibility of unbalanced loading.

Rail Freight

Rail Freight – Image source: THE LOAD STAR

Besides, they supervise the loading process to ensure your cargoes are safe during transit.

In case your cargo requires reinforcement or proper packaging, BanSar will handle that for you.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re shipping the normal cargo or huge quantity goods such firebrick, construction material, steel pipes, etc.

BanSar offers railway carriage too.

And, by the way, BanSar has the most competitive rail freight rates in the market.

When you go for our rail freight from China, you’ll save a lot of money.

Even when it comes to customs clearance, BanSar has a special team who handle all the paperwork and documentation for you.

The bottom line:

BanSar is one of your most reliable rail freight forwarder, who strives to make shipping from China easy and cost-effective.

Now, why should you opt for rail freight?

Let’s find out.

Chapter 2: Why Rail Freight (How can Railway Shipping from China Benefit your Business)

Do you know the “New Silk Road”?

Well, I will talk about it later in chapter 5.

But, I want to make one point clear here.

A railway line connecting Chinese cities to other cities in Europe, Asia and Russia come with numerous benefits.

And I am going to talk about them shortly.

For a fact, there are times when ocean freight or air freight may not be a perfect alternative to shipping from China.

This is why BanSar, as one of the leading freight forwarders in China, offers rail freight too.

I know if you’re new to rail freight, you may not believe this.

But, do you know on April 10 2017, the first rail freight left Britain to China?

It covered about 12,000km and it took only 3 weeks to complete the journey.

Can you imagine if you were to do this via ocean freight?

Could it have taken a long time right?

According to Reuters, this was almost half the time it could take via ocean freight from Britain to China.

And, a train had left Yiwu, China earlier the same year to London, U.K.

Isn’t this something that is amazing and that you should consider rail freight from China to other destinations?

Great, I will discuss more on various rail freight routes later in chapter 5 – keep reading.

Now, let me summarize the main benefits of rail freight from China to Europe, Asia or Russia.

2.1. Rail Freight Cost from China to Other Destinations

I want you to look at the cost of rail freight in terms of:

 i. Can you imagine how long it will take to ship a cargo from China to say Britain?

 ii. Think of a situation where you want to ship the goods of large quantity, say firebrick, steel pipes or construction material. First, you can’t imagine fitting them in a cargo plane.

Again, in rail freight, we can have as many as over 30 wagons.

But even with this, the fuel consumption will still be low.

Besides, you will require relatively low manpower.

Again, unlike in air freight, it does not require a specialized type of loading.

Freight train from Yiwu China to London Uk

Freight train from Yiwu, China to London, U.K.

But please, don’t get me wrong.

As I said earlier, the freight cost will depend on where you’re shipping your imports from China.

Besides, it will also depend on the type of load you’re shipping.

As an experienced rail freight forwarder, will evaluate the situation and recommend a suitable means of transport.

2.2. Rail Freight is Reliable

Do you wish to avoid the unnecessary congestion and delays at the ports?

Well, it is time to consider rail freight from China.


Rail freight operates within a fixed timetable.

Therefore, you can easily plan when your cargo will leave China to its destination in Asia, Europe or Russia.

And by the way, rail freight is not affected by weather conditions like in the case of air freight.

Rail Freight to Europe

Rail Freight to Europe

Remember, today most port infrastructures are very strained.

This may cause unnecessary delays in cargo loading and offload.

Again, when you compare rail freight to ocean freight, it is a “more flexible” option.

In fact, it is a perfect choice for landlocked countries.

Depending on your specific situations, which we will evaluate for you, rail freight can prove to be reliable and convenient.

2.3. Rail Freight Reduces Environmental Pollution

I know you’d wish to associate yourself with a company that is environmentally conscious.

And, as your leading freight forwarder in China, we are not left behind.

This is why we recommend rail freight at times as a perfect alternative to ocean freight or air freight.

I am sure you’re wondering how rail freight reduces environmental pollution in the first place.

Let me explain.

For a fact, a number of companies seek to reduce the carbon emission by doing regular carbon footprint reporting.

And, rail freight emits 33% less carbon dioxide than even cars.

Rail freight from China to Russia

Rail freight from China to Russia

Also, I had indicated that rail freight is energy efficient.

Remember, energy efficiency is directly related to carbon dioxide emissions.

The truth is, comparing the quantity of goods rail freight can transport, it is more energy efficient than other modes of shipping.

Remember, tones of goods can travel miles with a small quantity of fuel.

It is far much better than air freight at times.

2.4. Rail Freight is faster than Ocean Freight

Should I explain this again?

At the beginning of this chapter, I have a very practical example – rail freight from Yiwu, China to London, U.K.

Rail freight faster than ocean freight

Rail freight faster than ocean freight

With rail freight, as long as there is an existing train network, it is much faster.

However, I don’t want you to get me wrong.

I am not saying that rail freight is 100% perfect.

For instance, constructing a railway line is quite expensive.

Besides, the rail network is not available everywhere.

Furthermore, it is not as flexible as air freight.

So, how can you get the best from rail freight – talk to us.

At BanSar, our staff will evaluate your situation, and recommend if rail freight from China is a perfect solution for you or not.

We will guide you through every stage.

Still, I know you’d wish to compare other freight services side by side with rail freight.

Well, I will take you through that in chapters 3 and 4 – keep reading.

Chapter 3: Rail Freight vs. Sea/Ocean Freight

Like I said, BanSar offers rail freight, ocean freight and air freight services for those importing from China.

Normally, before we choose a shipping process, we must evaluate:

  • Geographical location and if proper infrastructure exists
  • Quantity and type of goods you’re importing from China
  • Freight cost from China to different destinations

By doing a proper evaluation, we will recommend the most suitable shipping process.

Of course, we do all these by evaluating the possible advantages and disadvantages of each process. Let me show you how we do it.

And for that reason, I will start with the:

3.1. Advantages of Rail Freight

In this section, I will make a quick summary of the advantages of rail freight.

They include:

  • Reliable transit times and schedules
  • Fast and cost-effective deliveries more so for long distances
  • Suitable for large capacity transportation of goods from China
  • Traditionally, rail freight has one of the best safety records
  • Environmentally friendly since it lowers emissions
  • Higher speed than ocean freight
  • Best for bulky goods

However, you should know that rail freight is not perfect.

Here are some of the main disadvantages:

3.2. Disadvantages of Rail Freight

Some of the main disadvantages of using railway when shipping from China to Europe, Asia or Russia include:

  • Not very flexible since it’s difficult to adjust railway line – this makes is virtually impossible to achieve door to door shipping with trains alone
  • Requires high initial capital; constructing a railway line and buying train is costly
  • It is not suitable for short distances
  • Only a few corporations or companies operate trains resulting into the monopoly. This may lead to inefficiency and exploitation
  • Under-utilized capacity; for its ideal economic operation, it should carry full load capacity.

Now, having said that, let me now walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of ocean freight.

Ocean Freight

Ocean Freight

3.3. Advantages of Ocean Freight

Over the years, ocean freight has remained the most popular way of shipping bulky goods from China to most continents around the world.

It is reliable and to some extent cost effective than the available option – air freight.

In fact, it plays an integral role in the import and export business across the globe.

Here are some of the main advantages of ocean freight:

  • Suitable for bulky or oversized goods more so where there is no railway network
  • Extensive coverage; you can ship to North America, South America, Africa, Australia, etc. Remember, all you need is a water body (sea or ocean).
  • Hundreds of carriers are available to carry goods from China to virtually any place in the world
  • Carries large volumes of the container all at once
  • Cheaper to some extent

In short, ocean freight is one of the fastest modes of transport whenever you want to ship from China to other parts of the globe.

You can ship virtually any product.

3.4. Disadvantages of sea/ocean freight

Now, as you plan to use ocean freight from China, you will deal with the following disadvantages:

  • Affected by bad weather, piracy or delays at the port due to congestion
  • Requires large investment to buy a container ship
  • Slow and takes a long time; in fact, it is the slowest
  • Lack of better docking ports while landlocked countries may use other means to access the goods

Anyway, I will be honest with you here:Rail Freight and Ocean Freight

Rail freight and ocean freight

As you can see from section 3.1. to 3.4., each mode of transport has advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, you cannot use rail freight when shipping from China to US

First, it will not be practical since there is no railway line connecting China and U.S.A.

Also, shipping from Yiwu, China to London, U.K. will be practical since there is an existing infrastructure.

Besides, it will take a shorter time to ship from China to U.K.

In short, what do I mean by all these?

As a leading freight forwarder in China, with the know-how in ocean freight and rail freight, we will help you here.

That is, BanSar team will evaluate your shipping needs, then make the right recommendation.

Chapter 4: Rail Freight vs. Air Freight

As I have indicated earlier, whenever I talk about rail freight, my main focus is on:

  • Rail freight from China to Europe
  • Rail freight from China to Asia
  • Rail freight from China to Russia

Of course, in chapter 4, I had highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of rail freight.

Therefore, I will not go into that again here.

Air freigh vs rail freight

Air freight vs. rail freight

So, in this section, I will quickly take you through the advantages and disadvantages of air freight.

Let’s get to that:

4.1. Advantages of Air Freight

Air freight is one of the most popular ways of shipping from China.

It is common for products with a reasonable weight.

In most cases, companies that offer courier services use air freight as the main means of transport.

But, what are the advantages of air freight?

  • Quickest means of shipping from China
  • Requires less documentation
  • Most cargoes require less handling
  • Enhanced security of the cargo

On the other hand, it has the following disadvantages.

4.2. Disadvantages of Air Freight

Some of the main disadvantages of air freight include:

  • Carries less cargo
  • More expensive than other shipping options
  • Affected by weather conditions hence a flight can easily be delayed

Of course, these are some of the main disadvantages of air freight.

I know you’re asking yourself one simple question:

When should you choose rail freight?

Let me give you a practical example.

It is unrealistic to transport a few boxes, say 10 or 15 via rail freight as the only “cargo”.

That will not make economic sense.

In that case, you can go for air freight.

On the other hand, for bulky cargo or numerous containers, rail freight will be a viable option.

Remember, deciding on whether to choose rail freight or air freight will depend on your unique shipping needs.

Just talk to us today, and we will help you.

Now, let me assume that all conditions in both chapters 3 and 4 favour rail freight.

Now, which route should you use?

I will take you through that shortly – keep reading.

Chapter 5: Chinese Railway Network – Know the Right Route to Import from China via Rail Freight

Until recently, importers of goods from China to other parts of the world were facing myriad challenges concerning the ideal mode of transport.

Like I said earlier:

Ocean freight has been the most dominant means of transport for a long time in this sector.

However, it seems like things are changing relatively fast if the railway network in China is anything to go by.

The development of railway freight in China that connects it to other parts especially, European nations in the recent past has been exceptional.

Freight train in Tehran

Freight train arrives in Tehran – Photo courtesy: The Financial Times

Would you imagine the feeling of getting your goods from China less than half the time it often takes when using sea freight?


That’s what this great infrastructure is bringing on board.

So in this section, we will look at some of the various elements regarding the Chinese railway network.

We will also look at the specific routes that this railway network system uses in transporting products from China to Europe and other parts of Asia.

Now let’s get straightaway and understand all these elements.

But first, we’ll look at the New Silk Road railway route to get a more in-depth understanding of what it entails.

5.1. “New Silk Road” Freight Train Route

In the recent years, the spectacular increase in the volume of intermodal traffic between China and Europe has been epic in defining rail freight in the world.

And by the way, this came as a surprise to many countries in the world.

I won’t lie to you about this:

More than 3000 cargo trains have reportedly been transported from China to various European countries including Germany, Russia, UK, Italy and Spain via this network.

New Silk Road

The New Silk Road – Photo courtesy: The World Economic Forum

Amazingly, this is more than the last six years combined.

Undoubtedly, this is irresistible and has seen trade between these two regions expanding in multifold since its establishment.

But what necessarily does this New Silk road involves?

This is probably one of the questions regarding rail freight between China and Europe that you’ll find quite interesting.

Also known as the New Eurasian Land Bridge, New Silk Road is a modern-day overland and maritime trade linkage that is fronted by the Chinese government.

New Eurasian Land Bridge

The New Eurasian Land Bridge – Photo courtesy: OBOReurope

In essence, the route links 35 Chinese cities with 15 major cities within the European continent.

And it is unquestionably the force behind the increasing rail share cargo value in the last two years.

In fact, a rough estimate by experts suggests that this Chinese-European rail network will double the trade share of this two regions in the next decade.

This is obviously good news from an economic perspective.

And, BanSar is ready to help you get the most from this rail freight from China.

Back to the main point of discussion;

The Chinese Governmentis the initiator of all the routes falling under New Silk Road.

What’s more?

Governments of other countries have been expressing interest in being part of this initiative.

Through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)China has successfully, managed to bind the world through the railway infrastructure, trade agreements, and various policy concerns.

And what I am sure you don’t know.

Even countries that have been reluctant in endorsing the BRI project are finally embracing these new routes.

The power of this route lies on its versatility.

All the emerging trading hubs along the path which stretches from China to Europe find healthy competition and efficiency.

This owes to the fact that it is not necessarily a single route but a connection of several interlinked corridors within the Eurasia region.

You see.

In the old Silk Road route, it was a little bit difficult to move goods via the railway when in between there’s a corridor facing political or economic upheaval.

Old Silk Road

Old Silk Road – Photo courtesy: On Trip

This new one is a bit different since even if such a corridor goes down for various reasons, other suitable routes can be of the essence.

It thus signifies efficiency and reliability of the highest order.

· Operational New Silk Road Freight Train Routes

So we’ve known that Eurasia is a continental landform consisting of both Europe and Asia.

And if you’re wondering how such a landmass can be drawn into a single immense market, then I’ve got an answer for you.

Just continue reading on.

First, this is only possible with the existence of an infrastructural network that links all the emerging trade hubs within the region.

Train from Yiwu to Britain

Train from Yiwu to Britain

In a significant way, it helps in the movement of products from one point to the other.

Such that at the end of it all, efficiency and competition will be on par.

Now with Eurasia, the New Silk Road makes it possible to merge all the countries into a single massive market.

Presently, this rail network consists of three main operational corridors, which physically link China with Europe. Here is how they connect;

        i. Northern Rail Corridor

This route goes to Europe through Russia.

However, more substantial part of this route tends to follow the course synonymous with the Trans-Siberian Express.

       ii. Central Rail Corridor

This route, on the other hand, goes through Kazakhstan and links with the Northern rail corridor on the western part of Russia.

      iii. Southern Rail Corridor

This is seemingly the longest among the three routes.

It traverses across Kazakhstan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey before linking with European rail network.

Alternatively, you can use the Kazakhstan route to Actau and then cross the Caspian Sea using ferry before reconnecting.

It takes anything between 10.5 to 18 days for the train to get to Europe from China depending on the specific route and other prevailing factors.

The good news:

BanSar, as your reliable freight forwarder in China, were are here to make this a reality.

Like I said, it’s all about ensuring efficiency and cost effectiveness when you want to ship from China via rail freight.

And, more interestingly.

This southern route is still developing thus relatively less busy, but northern and central routes are fully operational and apparently booming.

The northern and central rail corridors primarily link merely three substantive customs zones. These include:

  • China
  • Eurasian Economic Union
  • European Union.

It’s remarkable since the entire distance of over 9000 km only covers two border crossings.

On the other hand, the southern route albeit still taking shape, it appears more or less complicated.

As we’ve seen above, this route goes through various customs regimes before finally connecting with the rail network that links it to Europe in Turkey.

Fair enough – unexpectedly, the economic and political disruptions within southern corridor regimes are what have led to its development.

So this is how the southern corridor came to be:

During the Ukraine conflict, EU sanctioned Russia.

Russia instead chose to prohibit the importation of EU products.

What’s more?

Russia also banned the transportation of goods to and from EU block across her terrain.

Now, what’s the essence of the New Silk Road Train Freight?

Here is the thing:

Development of the southern route aims at ensuring that similar and any future Russian reactionary sanctions don’t affect the movement of goods between EU and China.

It is thus imperative to understand that the interest of the BRI; and broader New Silk Road route is to provide as many transportation options as possible.

Such that creation of the diverse and interconnected network would lead to a supercharged economic grid overlaid in entire Eurasia region.

That’s exactly, what BanSar will offer in its rail freight services.

And not necessarily a single route which seems so easy to disrupt and subsequently affecting the movement of products.

In fact, in a simple analogy, you can merely refer to it as many different roads leading to one destination.

Rail freight to China

Figure 14 Rail freight to China

So basically, the idea of this train freight route is to boost the constant growth of business relations within the massive Eurasia continental landmark.

We’ve seen the impact of the New Silk Road train freight.

Now let us move to the next section and find out more details about railway shipping from China to specific destinations within Eurasia.

5.2. Railway Shipping from China to Europe

Do you know BanSar offers rail freight from China to Europe?

Well, if you don’t know then mark that from today.

We have helped many customers transport goods from Yiwu, China to other destinations in Europe.

Here is a fact:

China and the EU are the world’s biggest traders.

It thus inevitably follows that goods movement between these two regions has to be active all the time.

So far, we know that China owns the most extensive railway network in the entire world.

And for that reason, many suppliers all over the country can choose to organize for railway transportation of products to their specific clients.

However, this is not in the interest of this section.

The intention here is primarily, to discuss the rail freight from China to Europe.

So keep reading and learn more.

First, as repeatedly mentioned above, China holds the most extended railway network in the world.

This starts from Yiwu International Trade City which is in Zhejiang province and connects several EU nations including, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the UK.

And by the way, the Yiwu-London Railway Line has enhanced import and export of goods between these two countries.



Remember this one excludes the other internal secondary railway connections within the country that link it to other smaller cities.

That basically shows you that rail freight from China to Europe is somewhat one of the best alternatives especially when shipping bulky cargo.

The EU nations import different types of products from China.

In fact, once the containers reach any of the EU member states, it becomes easier to transport it within the other union member countries.

The truth is.

For the longest time possible, China to Europe corridor has been one of the most vibrant routes for rail freight.

Initially, it is the Old Silk Road network that enabled movement of products from China to European countries in the ancient times.

It was meant to link the ancient Rome and China.

The primary product that China exported to Europe during this time was Silk, thus the name “Silk Road.”

UK to China Railway Line

U.K. to China Railway line – Photo courtesy: Metro

However, with time, it inefficiency reduced as a result of various industrial revolutions and political commotions in different countries along the route.

Nonetheless, the present day New Silk Road is re-establishing this route albeit in different modes including:

  • Railway
  • Highways
  • Sea freight

However, that is a story for another day!

The route from Yuwi to London became officially operational as of the first day of the year 2017.

It covers approximately 7500 miles.

So mainly, we have two major operational rail freight routes under New Silk Road rail freight for shipping goods from China to Europe;

The Northern Route and Central Route.

The central route passes through Kazakhstan and later links with the northern Trans-Siberian railway on the West of Russia.

Some of the notable goods the China ship to European countries using this railway line include household items, electrical and electronic devices.

Also, we have footwear, clothing, consumer goods and medical apparatus among others.

To have a better picture, let me give you some of the major cities that this route passes through to Europe.

  • From Yuwi city in China, it goes to Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan. This network then goes to eastern Russia before getting to Moscow.
  • It is at Moscow that both the central and the northern corridors link up. From Moscow, this railway line goes to Minsk, which is in Belarus then to Warsaw in Poland, Hamburg in Germany, Brussels in Belgium, Brest in France and then London, UK.
  • Another intersection branches in Brest to Madrid, Spain. You should also note that some secondary lines of this railway interlink other cities to the main line.

Expectedly, this route provides several advantages to the businesspeople, China, Europe and the various countries the train passes through.

Some of the benefits of this railway route include the following;

  • Opening up of more European markets for the Chinese products. This is arguably the fundamental advantage that this particular mode of transport brings on board.

You see, in various occasions, limited accessibility of goods and products from international markets derails business opportunities.

But once accessing the products becomes easy, the several trading factors become apparent.

  • Shorter transportation of goods; for the longest time, the European market has been shipping products from China via ocean freight.

Many people label the latter as the convenient and reliable means of moving cargo from China to Europe.

However, the invention on the New Silk Road railway transport is revolutionizing this concept.

For instance, it takes between 10.5 to 18 days to ship consignments via this route.

So in general, the time has become short and ideal for non-perishable products to arrive timely.

  • It is relatively affordable; when you compare transporting cargo via this route with air freight, you’ll realize that you cut considerable costs.

Of course, air is faster than rail freight, but when it’s not a matter of transporting perishable goods, this is the best route for European importers from China.

  • Alternative for full or less container load; the China-Europe railway system provides the option of whether to transport full or less container loads.

It subsequently saves time and cost since unlike ocean you do not necessarily have to wait for the container to be full before you can ship it.

A fundamental disadvantage that we can say this railway route has is that it comparatively pollutes the environment compared to ocean freight.

Also, another noteworthy disadvantage of this route is that it passes through many countries.

As you know, different nations tend have different ideologies regarding various factors.

So in any event that one of the countries experience political, economic and social disruptions, transport can be paralyzed.

Nevertheless, the New Eurasian Land Bridge railway freight is arguably the best when it comes to reliability.

And, BanSar can actually confirm that rail freight from China to Europe, is possible and we are part of it.

It’s only that it is unlikely to tell when a particular country can experience disastrous challenges.

Additionally, it gives you the capacity to monitor the movement of the good when in transit.

Such that you’ll know where precisely the consignment is at every moment you wish to know before receiving it.

BanSar rail freight

BanSar Rail freight

However, like I did mention in the earlier parts of this chapter, there’s also another wing of New Silk Road railway known as a Southern corridor.

It also links China to Europe and can be used in shipping goods between these two regions.

It is still developing hence not necessarily efficient like the northern corridor.

5.3. Railway Shipping from China to Russia

China is generally a vast country and so is Russia.

A rugged-terrain nation known as Mongolia separates these two countries.

But since the two countries are relatively large, it means the distance from one point of the country to the other in another country is generally long.

Shipping of goods between China and Russia for a very long time has been through railway system.

Rail freight from China to Russia

Rail freight from China to Russia

The two countries have a strong rail network that serves various cities within them.

However, it is significant to understand that these two countries have a considerable number of railway networks linking them from various points.

But in this section, we’ll discuss the significant rail networks that are known for transporting bulk cargo from China to Russia.

· Trans-Mongolian Line

This line connects China to Russia via Mongolia, no wonder the name.

It starts from Beijing in China and passes through Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia before joining the Trans-Siberian railway at Ulan-Ade, Russia.

Trans Mongolian Line

Trans-Mongolian Line

The completion of this line was in 1961, and it is seemingly the shortest line between Beijing and Trans-Siberian Railway.

An ideal benefit of this line is that it helps in opening up trading opportunities between the two nations.

Also, it serves Mongolia, which is a landlocked nation.

Its shortcoming is that it has limited capacity owing to the fact that it is single-track.

· China-Kazakhstan-Russia Railway Line

This is another notable railway route for shipping goods from China to Russia.

Ideally, the initiative for constructing this line began in 1950’s.

Both Russia and China had to build own lines and connect them to Kazakhstan/Xinjiang border.

However, as a result of political instability in the then Soviet, construction of this line from the Chinese side stopped.

New Silk Train Route

New Silk Train Route

It follows that construction of several smaller lines also took place in a bid of connecting this two countries via Kazakhstan.

This corridor is somewhat complicated owing to the fact of various line constructions that link it to other many lines.

Purposefully though, it helps in the smooth movement of cargo from China to Russia and also in serving the cities along the line.

The downside is that it passes through different border points hence causing a few delays at the customs.

· New Eurasian Land Bridge

It is arguably one of the most momentous rail networks that offer efficient shipping of goods from China to Russia.

I won’t explain much about it here since we covered its fundamental elements on the earlier sections of this chapter.

Rail freight from China network

Rail freight from China network

But of significance is to know that it is an initiative fronted by the Chinese government.

It also has quite a number of feeder lines from various cities within China.

This line serves Russia from Lianyungang, China, uninterrupted all the way to Almaty in Kazakhstan.

It then extends to Russia to connect with the Trans-Siberian Railway which in turns goes up to Moscow.

It is a reliable line given that it is a Trans-national line.

Therefore, few cases of delay are often experienced on this railway line.

It is advantageous because it helps in easy transportation of bulk cargo from China to Russia and even to Western Europe.

However, it is relatively slow hence unsuitable for the highly perishable products.

Some of the common goods BanSar ships China to Russia shipped via this rail freight route include Coal, textiles, medical apparatus, computer devices, and furniture among others.

5.4.Railway Shipping from China to Central Asia

If there’s anything that is playing a great role in expanding trade and boosting the economy of Central Asia, then it has to be rail freight from China.

You see.

Most of the Central Asian countries have been in political turmoil for a long time.

So the economies have been stagnant since no meaningful activity have been taking place, especially with their neighbours.

However, rail freight from China to Central Asia is expanding the economy in multifold.

In fact, China manufactures most of the import products within the central Asia region.

Anyway, we’ll discuss that one some other day.

For now, let’s find out the aspects regarding rail freight from China to the central Asia region.

· New Eurasian Land Bridge (Southern Corridor)

It is arguably the main corridor for transporting several goods via train from China.

For a long time, concerns for making Central Asia an economic hub have been in process.

The challenge, however, was means of transporting goods from China in bulk but the affordable way. And the conception of creating the New Silk Road rail route became alive.

The line that serves central Asia is the Southern corridor which essentially runs from Western China all the way to West Europe around Turkey via central Asian countries.

Initially, the construction of this line was limited to Almaty, Kazakhstan.

It was after an inter-governmental agreement that Lianyungang Port serve the Kazakh exports/imports needs.

However, the New Silk Road initiative saw it ideal to extend the route to and provide passage to West Europe.

So from Almaty in Kazakhstan, this southern route goes to Tashkent and Samarkand, both in Uzbekistan.

Then it extends to Tejen, Turkmenistan.

It then goes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and ends at Türkmenbaşy, a port town of the Caspian Sea.

But then, goods, in this case, have to be loaded and off-loaded and shipped to the border port in Georgia.

It is quite tasking and consumes time hence tends to cause delays especially for goods needed for the specified duration.

And so construction of another line from Tejan began in 1996 to pass through Iran at Serakhs and reach the Persian Gulf.

This branch stretches to Caucasus and Turkey, And in 2016, the first cargo train on this route from Yiwu to Teheran in 14 days.

Rail freight from China to Iran

Rail freight from China to Iran

This route also passes through Azerbaijan and Georgia then it connects with the European Railway Network.

So basically, this route is opening up all these central Asia corridors for better trading activities.

Normally, BanSar uses this rail freight network to ship medical appliances, textiles, footwear, motor vehicle and automotive parts.

Others include furniture, plastics, computers and related devices as well as electronics and electrical appliances.

One major disadvantage of this southern line is that it is still developing hence does not have many activities.

Furthermore, it is only used on a need-basis. Such that, importers, mainly from west Europe tend to use the northern corridor wing of the New Silk Road rail network.

It also passes through different countries that have different customs border policies hence derailing movement of some items.

Or worse still:

It limits the type of goods to transport on this line since some products are never acceptable in certain countries within the range.

Besides, it is also prone to different socio-political upheavals hence can prevent movement of products from China to other countries within the region.

Thus, it is not inherently a reliable line given that it is yet to become fully operational.

However, it is ironical because even with the political conflicts that marred most of the countries it passes through, most of the governments approved it.

To a great extent, it expands the economies of the countries within the region and expanding trading activities.

So primarily, the railway network in China is one of its most significant assets when it comes to shipping of good to other countries within the region and abroad.

Several options are available regardless of the destination of the goods as long as it is within Europe and Asia.

Therefore, you only need to ensure that you get the right shipper that understands the dynamics of railway shipping from China.

They ought to know the best routes suitable at that specific time for the particular goods you’re transporting.

This way, you’ll be able to get the best results always as you ship your cargo from China.

Hopefully, though, you now have a rough idea regarding the railway routes in China to Europe, Russia, and Central Asia to possibly consider.

And I can confirm this today:

As long as you live within Europe, Central Asia and Russia, where there is rail network you can easily ship goods from China to your local town.

Like I said earlier, BanSar will evaluate the situation at hand and recommend if rail freight is the best.

Chapter 6: Frequently Asked Questions on Railway Shipping from China

If you have never used any of these:

  • Rail freight from China to Central Asia
  • Rail freight from China to Russia or,
  • Rail freight from China to Europe

I am sure you have so many unanswered questions. And, this section is specifically for you.

Rail freight from China to Germany

Rail freight from China to Germany

It covers the basics of rail freight from China to Central Asia, Russia and Europe, to even more advanced subjects.

Let’s dive right in.

1. What is rail freight?

Rail freight is the transportation of goods from destination A to destination B by train.

It is a conventional method of surface transport in China, Asia, and Europe.

2. Why rail freight over other forms of international freight?

Well, in comparison, rail transportation is a complimentary freight method.

Such that while rail freight is cheaper than air freight, it is faster than sea freight and equally reliable.

Rail freight makes for a good alternative when your supplier in China is taking too long to avail the goods for transportation.

Or, when you just can’t match air freight rates.

3. The railway network connects to which cities in China?

For starters, the Chinese railway network is one of the most extensive railway networks in the world.

It connects to destinations across the Far East, Middle East, Russia and the western parts of Europe.

In China nonetheless, the network connects to over twenty cities.

These include; Yiwu, Shanghai, Qingdao, Chengdu, Wuhan, Suzhou, Hebei, Chongqing and many more.

Note however that Yiwu is kind of like the main freight transportation hub in China.

4. Are there restrictions on what you can ship?

Pretty much yes.

Moving to hazardous goods, for instance, is restricted by international law.

Living cargo, i.e., livestock is also restricted as well as anything that is deemed unsafe for transportation by rail.

5. Do trains only ship in containers?

No, they don’t.

Transportation by rail will depend on the kind of goods you intend to move.

Bulk cargo can be transported in containers which are filled and sealed.

Liquids and gases are shipped in tanks.

So generally, trains don’t just transport using containers.

There are other ways to transport goods to the intended destination safely.

It all depends on what kind of goods they are and what conditions must be met for their safe transportation.

6. Can I ship one container using rail freight from China?


You can ship one container.

7. What about half a container or less?

Yes, you can.

There are no restrictions as to how much of a container you can move by rail.

So if your goods aren’t enough to fill up a standard container, you can still ship it as an LCL freight.

Note that container load in rail freight work pretty much the same way as in sea freight.

The same incoterms apply here.

This means that your cargo can be loaded as an LCL or an FCL depending on its volume, and mostly your shipping needs.

8. What is bulk cargo in rail freight?

This is cargo that is transported in large volumes without being packaged.

It is always loaded and offload by pouring or dropping.

It could be ballast, coal, iron ore, grains petroleum, etc.

9. How much does it cost to ship from China to the west by rail?

Shipping by rail to any destination is often cheaper than air freight.

Nonetheless, the cost is somewhat similar to sea freight costs.

The good thing about rail freight is that volumetric charges do not apply here.

Also, rail freight doesn’t have excessive surcharges like in air and sea freight.

10. What routes are used to ship to Russia?

The network from China to Russia is known as the Eurasian railway network.

This network goes from Yiwu, Shanghai China through Kazakhstan, Russia and finally London.

11. How long does it take to deliver goods from China to Europe by rail?

Comparatively, rail freight is much faster than sea freight when it comes to delivering goods from China to Europe.

So, while freight by sea will take approximately 45 days, rail takes between 16-20 days to move goods from China to Europe.

12. Is rail freight insured?

Yes, it is, especially if the cargo you are shipping is of high value.

13. What do the terms ‘intermodal’ and carload’ mean, in rail freight?

The term intermodal in rail freight refers to when cargo transportation combines the use of trains and other modes of transport, i.e., road.

Carload, on the other hand, is where cargo stays on the train in the entire shipping journey.

14. So how do I know if I am intermodal or carload customer?

Well, you are an intermodal customer if you’ll need to combine the use of train, trucks or any other vessel as part of your cargo’s transit.

In this case, your cargo from China will be loaded in an intermodal container.

This type of container provides for smooth transition of cargo between various destinations and transportation modes.

To qualify as a carload customer, however, you have to have access to rail both in China and the destination – and when your goods will remain on the train throughout the journey.

15. Your final destination is not rail served. Can you still ship by rail?

Yes, you can.

You will ship your goods from China by rail to a strategic train station.

From there, you’ll arrange how the goods will be moved from the station to wherever you want them to.

16. As an intermodal customer, what happens to my cargo when it gets to the station platform?

Well, it will be loaded onto trucks or whatever vessel that can safely and conveniently transport the cargo to its final destination.

17. Can I ship perishable goods by rail?

Yes, you can.

There are individual containers that designed to transport temperature-sensitive goods.

Like in sea freight, these are also called reefer containers.

18. Is cargo tracking possible with rail freight?

Rail freight like any other form of freight is traceable.

As long as you have the right bill of lading number, and the name of the shipping line, you can easily track your cargo from wherever.

19. Which documents do I need to finalize rail freight logistics?

You may not know this, but rail freight from China is quite still new.

It is so new that documentation and regulations governing rail freight are still not precise.

Don’t worry, however; your freight forwarder should be able to help you when it gets to this stage.

By the way, did I answer all your questions either here or in other chapters of this guide?

Well, if you have any other issue – please contact me.

I am here to help you understand rail freight from China to Europe, Russia and Central Asia.


As you can see, the benefits of rail freight are between ocean freight and sea freight.

You have also seen that the railway network from China to Europe, Russia and Central Asian has grown in the recent past.

Interestingly, already trains are leaving China to other destinations as an expansion of the railway network is still ongoing.

Well, as a person who imports from China, you can take advantage of this opportunity.

The good news – BanSar, your reliable freight forwarder in China is here to help you.

BanSar rail freight is reliable and cost-effective. Contact us today for free quote on rail freight.

Further Reading:

Special Railway Shipping Rate
  • China to Russia good price
Update cookies preferences