As one of the top manufacturers globally, China has a well-established network of rail freight transport, making rail freight from China to Europe faster and cheaper.
One factor that has made rail freight shipping from China to Europe more attractive is the cheap and faster freight forwarding services offered by Winsky Freight.
If you plan to ship from China to Europe by rail transport but don’t know where to start, worry no more. This FAQ guide explores everything about rail freight from China.
1. What is Rail Freight Shipping from China to Europe?
Rail freight shipping from China to Europe has become an alternative to the costly air freight services and slow sea transport, often taking several weeks.
The rail network system between China and Europe came due to the Silk Road’s connection between China and European countries.
With the rising demand for goods from China, rail freight transport is increasingly becoming a viable option to transport the goods to Europe.
But why would you choose rail freight over air freight and sea freight?
Rail freight shipping from China to Europe is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight. So, it leverages costly air freight and time-consuming sea freight services.
To maximize the benefits of rail freight shipping, you need to work with a reliable freight forwarder, such as Winsky Freight.
As China’s leading rail freight forwarder, Winsky Freight provides fast and affordable rail freight service from China to many European countries, including France and Germany.
2. Why is Winsky Freight the best rail freight forwarder from China to Europe?
Do you need help choosing the best rail freight forwarder in China? If so, you may not have considered Winsky Freight, a reliable freight forwarder in China.
Here are the reasons to consider Winsky Freight regarding rail freight services.
Affordable Rail-Freight Rates
If you are looking for affordable rail freight services in China, you can count on Winsky Freight. We will ensure that you maximize the value of your money.
Our rail freight services from China to various parts of Europe are the most affordable in China. Not to mention, there are no hidden charges in our shipping quotes.
Free and Reliable Warehousing Services
When shipping goods from China to European countries, you may want to keep your shipment temporarily as you organize for transportation.
You don’t have to worry about warehousing if you resolve to transport the goods by rail. Winsky Freight provides 30-day free warehousing for goods during shipping.
Winsky Freight Understands the Rail-Freight Logistics
When looking for a freight forwarder to ship your goods from China to Europe, select a company that understands the shipping logistics in China and Europe.
So, if you want your shipment pickup from China to get delivered to any destination in Europe, including France, the professional logistics team at Winsky Freight will help you.
Our parcel delivery services from China to Europe are competitive. The good news is that you can also track your shipment status using the tracking number provided.
3. How Can You Ship by Rail Freight from China to Europe?
Now that you understand what rail freight shipping is from China to Europe and have decided to ship your goods from China to the country, it’s vital to understand the steps.
So, how will you ship your goods from China to Europe by rail?
Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Contact Winsky Freight for a Free Quote
When requesting a quote, you must tell us your shipping name and package information. Also, specify the supplier’s location and the price terms.
Step 2: Winsky Freight Contacts Your Supplier for Pick Up
Once you provide your supplier’s information, including email addresses and phone numbers, we will contact them to confirm the delivery.
Your supplier must notify us before transporting your goods into our warehouse for further processing. But if they don’t call us, we’ll reach them using their contact details.
Step 3: Winsky Freight Verifies the Goods and their Labels
Once we receive the goods from your supplier, we’ll have to confirm if they have labels. The supplier must label the goods before transportation to our warehouse.
The labels should have your brand or name for tracking purposes. Otherwise, you might lose your goods if not labeled correctly.
When the goods reach our warehouse, we’ll verify the weight, size, and dimensions and confirm if they match your specifications.
Step 4: Winsky Freight Prepares Transportation and Documentation
Once you confirm that the goods delivered by the supplier are yours, we’ll start preparing them for transportation from China to Europe by rail.
We’ll organize documentation, such as the invoice document, and prepare for customs clearance in China. We can also arrange for cargo insurance when you need it.
Step 5: Winsky Freight Arranges Rail Shipping and Send a Tracking Number
We can arrange rail shipping to your preferred destination through Amazon or a private company.
We’ll forward the tracking number once we send the goods by rail to help you track your cargo’s movement.
Step 6: Winsky Freight Delivers the Goods to Your Preferred Destination
The final step will be to deliver the goods to your preferred European destination by DPD, GLS, or UPS.
We can also deliver the goods to an FBA Amazon warehouse and then avail them to your destination.
4. What are the Railway Freight Advantages from China to Europe?
Using a railway network for transportation from China to Europe has many advantages over ocean or air freight. They are as follows:
- Cheaper and Faster Transportation: Train freight from China to Europe is faster and more cost-effective than sea freight. When you choose a train for moving your goods, you pay less than air freight. It also reduces transit time as compared to sea freight.
- Environmental Friendly: Train freight is environmentally friendly compared to air freight, and there are two reasons for this: lower carbon emission and less fuel consumption. Trains consume less fuel per mile as compared to a plane, which leads to the reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gasses.
- Customs Efficiency: The customs clearance process for trains is faster than other transportation modes. Its Custom efficiency makes transportation from one continent to another a smooth process.
- Increased Capacity: Trains have more capacity to carry goods than air freight. It can transport large amounts of goods from one place to another.
- Multimodal Compatibility: China to Europe railway express allows integration of railway transports with other transports. This compatibility provides flexibility, efficiency, security, and sustainability and reduces transit time for long-distance transportation.
5. Which China Cities are Connected to the China-Europe Railway Network?
Before shipping goods from China to Europe by rail, you must determine if your city is connected to the China-Europe railway network.
So, what cities are connected to the railway?
Since China has one of the world’s largest railway networks, you can transport goods from major cities in China to major cities in Europe by rail.
Significant Chinese rail ports include Manzhouli, Erenhot, Alashankou, and Suifenhe.
Also, some Chinese cities have international rail freight routes to facilitate trade between China and Europe.
An excellent example is a railway network connecting Chongqing City in China to Duisburg City in Germany, which shortened the sea freight time from five to two weeks.
Other Chinese cities with railway networks connected to Europe include Wuhan, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu.
6. What are the Major Rail Freight Routes from China to Europe?
The China-Europe railway is among the highest-quality railways in the world.
The railway runs from major Chinese cities like Chongqing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Suzhou, Yiwu, and Zhengzhou to significant cities in Spain, Germany, Poland, and other European countries.
Generally, there are two major railway routes for freight trains, each having sub-routes.
- The Northern Route: Runs through Siberia and connects the cities in the Northern region, including Beijing, Suzhou, Dalian, and Shenyang.
- The Southern Route Runs through Southern Russia and Kazakhstan and serves Chongqing, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu regions.
Note that Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany are the most significant terminals in Europe.
Here are the railway routes that connect major Chinese cities to Europe.
||Type of Goods
||Export Trains Schedule
||Train Transit Time
||Wuhan–Alataw pass–Malasevic– Poland–Hamburg, Germany–Duisburg
||General cargo LCL, FCL
||Every Wednesday and Friday
||16 days direct to Hamburg, 14 days direct to Poland
|Suzhou-Europe Rail Shipping
||Suzhou–Manchuria–Warsaw, Poland–Hamburg Germany–Duisburg, Germany
||General cargo LCL, FCL
||15 days direct to Hamburg, 13 days direct to Poland
||Chongqing–Alashan Mountain–Malasevic– Poland–Duisburg, Germany
||General cargo LCL, FCL
||Every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday
||16 days direct to Hamburg, 14 days direct to Poland
|Zhengzhou-Europe Rail Shipping
||Zhengzhou–Alataw pass–Warsaw, Poland–Hamburg Germany–Duisburg, Germany
||General cargo LCL, FCL
||Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
||16 days direct to Hamburg, 13 days direct to Poland
As the leading rail freight forwarder in China, Winsky Freight offers reliable railway freight solutions from China to France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other European countries. We’ll select the most efficient and convenient rail route for your goods.
7. How Much Does Rail Freight from China to Europe Cost?
The cost of rail freight services from China to Europe depends on various factors, including the cargo type, weight, and preferred delivery destination.
Now, let’s look at these factors in detail.
Your cargo size is the main determining factor of the money you’ll pay for rail freight shipping from China to Europe.
The freight forwarder handling your goods in transit will confirm the exact weight of your cargo to determine the shipping costs.
Another vital factor influencing the costs of rail freight shipping is the route distance from China to the preferred destination in Europe.
But sometimes, the shipping costs can be cheaper for longer distances. In other words, rail freight shipping is more affordable for long-distance shipping.
Place of Delivery and Pickup
The rail freight prices also depend on the pickup points in China and drop-off in Europe.
That’s because railway stations charge different fees depending on the duration of the cargo at the station.
Generally, the LCL rail freight costs from China to Europe is around $2 per kilogram,
To get exact quotes, you must consult freight forwarders or logistic providers to understand the cost better.
8. How Long Does Train Freight Take from China to European Countries?
Rail freight shipping from China to European countries can take between 12 to 18 days, depending on a vast range of factors, including:
Custom Clearance Process
The customs clearance process at the terminals can also influence the rail shipping time for your goods. If the process takes longer than expected, you will likely experience delays.
There’s no doubt that your cargo will take more days to reach your destination when you pick a longer railway route. So, it’s vital to choose the shortest route possible.
Here is the rail freight shipping time for various shipping routes.
- China to Germany (Hamburg) – 14 Days
- China to United Kingdom (London) – 16 to 18 days
- China to Poland (Warsaw) – 12 days
Pro Tip: The short transit times for rail freight shipping allow businesses to react positively to the dynamic market demands.
9. Can You Ship LCL Cargo from China to Europe via Railway?
Yes! Less Than Container Load (LCL) rail freight involves transporting goods that can’t fill a whole container.
So, if your goods can’t fill a whole container, it will be more convenient and affordable to opt for LCL freight shipping, and it also saves on transit time and shipping costs.
LCL shipping by rail freight is cheaper than by sea freight due to the high charges for LCL at the destination seaports.
Besides, rail freight shipping has no restrictions on the number of goods you can transport in a container. However, the container load works more similarly to sea freights.
If you want to ship from China to Europe by rail as less than container load (LCL), you can rely on Winsky Freight.
At Winsky Freight, we specialize in LCL shipping and are ready to deliver your shipment to your preferred destination in Europe.
10. What are the Requirements for Train Shipping from China to Europe?
When opting for rail freight shipping, you must meet all the packaging and document requirements. Knowing the goods restricted and prohibited by rail freight is also essential.
- Bill of Lading: This document contains details about the shipper and receiver. It also includes a description of the goods.
- Commercial Invoice: It is necessary for calculating taxes and duties while transporting. It contains every detail of the goods, including value, weight, and quantity.
- Packing List: This tells about the packages’ dimensions, number, and weight. It is essential for the inspection of goods by customs authorities.
- Harmonized System Code: Every product has an HS code that helps calculate customs duties and taxes and provides detailed information on your goods.
- Permits: Some goods, like hazardous materials, require special permission for transport from one country to another. They need export or import permits for transport.
- Certificates of Origin: Certificates of origin is a proof of the eligibility of the goods for trade. It is the proof of the manufacturing and production of goods in a specific country.
What are the packaging requirements you must meet before shipping by rail freight?
The packaging must be strong to protect your goods from damage.
Note that the minimum charge weight per carton should be 15 kilograms, and the maximum weight per carton should be 30 kilograms.
When sending the goods to FBA Amazon, the supplier must place an FBA label sticker on the cartons.
Also, Amazon FBA regulations require suppliers to place a TEAM LIFT label for single cartons weighing more than 15 kilograms each.
Each outer carton package must have at least two FBA label stickers with transparent tapes bearing moisture-resistant bar codes.
Pro Tip: Packaging materials such as metal cases, wooden cases, woven bags, compressed bags, and packing straps are unacceptable.
Restricted and Prohibited Goods
Rail freight is not ideal for shipping high-value items like mobile phones, digital cameras, laptops, and tablets.
Other goods prohibited by rail freight include liquids, powders, and knives.
11. What Factors Must You Consider When Shipping by Rail from China to Europe?
Before you opt for rail shipping, it’s essential to determine if the factors are conducive.
Here are some things to check when rail shipping from China to Europe.
Tariffs and Trade Barriers
Some goods are subject to trade sanctions in certain countries, meaning you must determine if your goods are acceptable in Europe before shipping them from China.
Since countries that border each other have different trade agreements, checking if the mutual agreements affect your shipment is essential. That will help you avoid delays.
As you prepare to ship your goods from China to Europe by rail, you must consider how you will move the goods to and from the railway stations.
For instance, you can ask the supplier to transport the goods to Winsky Freight warehouse, and that could be through road transport. That will also depend on the workable incoterm.
You’ll notice significant temperature differences from China to Europe when shipping goods by rail, affecting some items.
For instance, the temperatures can be warm in China and freezing in Russia. This factor is very crucial when transporting goods that need a temperature-controlled environment.
12. How Does Sea/Ocean Freight Compare to Rail Freight from China to Europe?
You’ve probably chosen rail freight over sea freight because it’s faster than sea freight.
But the truth is that each shipping method has its strengths and weaknesses.
So, let’s look at how the two shipping methods compare.
Rail Freight Shipping
So far, you already know what rail freight shipping is. So, we’ll look at its pros and cons.
Pros of Rail Freight Shipping
- Produces lower emissions, hence environmentally friendly
- Ideal for transporting large capacity of goods
- Faster and more reliable than sea freight shipping
- Cost-effective, especially for long distances
- Suitable for transporting bulky goods
- Rail freight is one of the safest shipping methods
Cons of Rail Freight Shipping
- Railway lines are fixed, meaning you can not adjust them for door-to-door delivery
- Construction of railway lines and purchasing of trains is costly
- Rail freight is not ideal for shorter distances
- Effect of monopoly: since only a few companies operate trains
Sea Freight Shipping
Like rail freight, sea freight shipping also has advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Sea Freight Shipping
Here are the advantages of sea freight shipping.
- It is ideal for oversized and bulky goods, especially when there’s no railway network
- You can ship to various destinations across the world due to extensive coverage
- Sea freight involves many carriers to ship goods from China to various destinations
- Relatively cheaper than rail freight
Cons of Sea Freight Shipping
- Buying a shipping container is costly, hence a significant investment
- The slowest shipping method of shipping from China to Europe
- Affected by a large number of factors, including bad weather, delays, and piracy
It is not ideal for transporting goods to landlocked countries
So far, you’ve noted that rail freight is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight, making it the most convenient way to ship from China to Europe.
The well-established China-Europe railway network makes it easy to transport goods to various destinations in Europe. Besides, the railway network keeps on expanding.
When you ship your goods from China to Europe by rail, you can count on Winsky Freight. We are the most reliable rail freight forwarder in China.
Contact us now for free rail freight shipping quotes from China to Europe.