RailFreight webinar: New Silk Road – bubble or here to stay?

Chinese rail freight train to Europe. Licensed to London News Pictures. 18/01/2017. London, UK. Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP
© Licensed to London News Pictures. 18/01/2017. London, UK. A traditional dance greets the first direct rail freight train from China as it arrives at Barking Rail Freight Terminal east of London. The new service set off from China on the 3rd of January this year. London is now the 15th European city to join what the Chinese government calls the New Silk Route. Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

The success of the New Silk Road should represent the actual market demand. This has been said by many who fear that the Eurasian corridor turns out as a noting more than a bubble. Can this be accomplished? This will be discussed by various experts during the free RailFreight webinar New Silk Road – bubble or here to stay? on Thursday 17 October.

The gradual slowdown of the Chinese subsidies for rail freight traffic to Europe has started. The government has put in place ceilings on the local subsidies, which will be lowered even further in 2020. In addition, empty container trains could no longer count on public support. These are just some of the measures the Chinese government has taken to mature the New Silk Road, to become a transport corridor that stands on its own feet.

Turning point

In this regard, the year 2019 witnessed a turning point in the Belt and Road policy of China. But according to stakeholders this has not impacted the popularity of Eurasian rail freight, on the contrary. The volumes are rising, the number of destinations increasing and the demand for this specific transport product is still growing.

This is not to say that the measures have not been felt. The number of trains departing China, and since recently, also the number of eastbound trains is on a reduce, as trains may only depart when completely full. This means that cargo sometimes has to wait, or that some journeys are cancelled last minute. But these are circumstances that have to be dealt with, the optimists say.

Free webinar

During the webinar three speakers will delve into these lively topics. Erik Groot Wassink, director special products at Nunner Logistics, Rob Brekelmans, an experienced rail consultant on the New Silk Road and Christiaan Heerings, commercial director at Greenport Venlo will join the discussion. The webinar is from 11-12AM (CEST) and is free of charge. Registration is still open.

The webinar is in the run-up to the European Silk Road Summit, which takes place on 26 and 27 November in Venlo, the Netherlands. Also here, these topics will be discussed during a panel session consisting of various experts. There are plenty of other relevant presentations and discussions. Please have a look at the programme or register on the website.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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