Will containers travel by train in the future?

SeaIntel has looked into the possibility of sending containers from Asia to Europe by train instead of ship. It is significantly faster, but the train-solution can’t handle the same volume as ships can, says the report.

Photo: Casper Dalhoff

Throughout the twentieth century, transport by sea has become the most common mode of shipping goods from Asia to Europe. But it wasn’t always like that, says SeaIntel, and it might not be like that forever. Analysts have looked into whether transport by train is a viable alternative to the sea.

SeaIntel has found that containers can be transported significantly faster by train. Transcontainer can transport a container from Beijing to Klaipeda in 11 days by train, while Maersk Line can move a container between the same destinations in 55 days – or five times more than Transcontainer. Other transportation times vary according to routes and shipping companies, but none of the companies come close to the speed offered by the train.

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