Is rail a real challenge to east-west airfreight?

A new rail service between China and Europe could eat into airfreight traffic, suggests a major European freight forwarder.
Kuehne + Nagel’s (K+N) recently launched KN Eurasia Express will be aimed at less than container load consignments, particularly customers in automotive, high-tech, and fashion. There will be direct links between its hub terminal at Wuhan in China to Hamburg in Germany and Poznan (Poland). K+N also serves more than 50 collection points in China.
Board member Otto Schacht, said that while the 14-18 day transit time from departure to destination terminal would be slower than airfreight, the rail option would be cheaper.
Cargo security can be an issue for customers switching high value consignments to overland transport, but KN says it has beefed up standards at its terminals and enhanced container seals for Eurasia Express shipments.
GPS-based data monitoring delivers real-time data on temperature, humidity, pressure and light exposure while temperature-sensitive goods can be shipped in reefer containers.

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