Rail transportation: a new, fast, cheap and sustainable solution.
Rail transportation is another form of transport that is also considered a ‘green’ option. Trains burn less fuel per tonne-mile than road vehicles and a train that can have more than 100 wagons needs only one driver. However, there are some additional costs incurred in a train journey: at each end of the rail transit road delivery is required and there are elevators to transfer the container between the train and the road vehicle.
On average longer journeys are cheaper by train and shorter journeys are cheaper per road. Where the point of cost neutrality is determined by many factors that are route and freight specific, it can generally be expected that the point of cost neutrality is in the range of 130 to 150 miles. Ideal for transport between Europe and China.
In 2015 the first freight train arrived with freight containers from China in the port of Rotterdam in 18 days versus the normal 44 days at sea.
This relocation of containerized freight by rail from China to logistics hubs in Europe, such as in the Netherlands and the like, is seen as an important step in the development of trade between the two continents.
Rail is a relatively fast mode of transport that takes only about 14-19 days to China. In addition, the switch also offers some advantages, such as that all containers are transported to the location at once, while they are environmentally friendly because a train emits far less CO2 than an aircraft.
Key benefits of rail freight include
- Reliable transit times and schedules
- Railroads are the most efficient form of land transportation. One train can haul the equivalent of over 400 trucks
- Fast and cost-effective deliveries over long distances. Typically over 500 miles
- Traditionally, rail has a strong safety record.
- Helps in alleviating road congestion, thus lowering emission
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