International rail

News and analysis of international railroads, Asia–Europe land bridge, depots, earnings, port connectivity

The latest International rail News & Analysis

Rapid rail transit via sanctions-hit Russia has limited appeal for European shippers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Sep 12, 2023, 10:57 AM EDT

Sanctions imposed on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine continue to limit the attractiveness of transport times as low as 12 days offered by forwarders on the China-North Europe rail network.
RailForwardingInternational rail

Market interest ‘should be very high’ in DB Schenker sale: CEO

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Sep 6, 2023, 9:24 AM EDT

The German-based forwarder remains the largest and most attractive takeover target in a cash-rich industry where the main players are all looking for opportunities to consolidate.
MaritimeForwardingTruckingInternational railAir CargoAir cargo forwardingSupply Chain

Inefficiency, cost holding back UK domestic rail freight: shippers

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Jun 15, 2023, 9:20 AM EDT

While demand for domestic rail freight in the UK grows, the network’s ability to handle the more complex smaller shipments has been criticized by cargo owners.
RailInternational railIntermodal providers

Shippers, regulators muddle through ‘grey area’ of rail storage fees

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor | May 24, 2023, 11:44 AM EDT

Shippers want Congress to address their inability to challenge rail demurrage fees when they contract for merchant haulage, but finding a solution will be tricky, writes Journal of Commerce Executive Editor Mark Szakonyi.
Container shippingDrayageSurfaceInternational railTransport, trade and regulation

PSA inks China-Europe ‘middle corridor’ deal with Kazakhstan Railways

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | May 23, 2023, 11:12 AM EDT

The Singapore-headquartered terminal operator has extended its reach deeper into the landside business, targeting the growing Central Asia rail freight market.
RailAsia-EuropeInternational rail

Pandemic-level drop in Q1 demand hits European intermodal transport

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | May 19, 2023, 10:11 AM EDT

A “perfect storm” of poor schedule reliability, persistently high electricity prices, weak demand and cheaper diesel for trucking continues to undermine Europe’s rail-dominated combined transport sector.
RailInternational railIntermodal providers

Record profit for DB Schenker lifts parent group into black

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 30, 2023, 1:53 PM EDT

Despite being prepared for divestiture, the performance of global forwarder DB Schenker is the only reason Deutsche Bahn group is profitable at present.
ForwardingAsia-EuropeInternational railIntermodal providers

Targets for Europe’s modal shift not feasible: rail freight sector

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 30, 2023, 10:01 AM EDT

Far greater ambition will be required by European Commission policy makers if targets to double the market share of rail freight by 2050 are to be achieved, according to rail freight operators.
SurfaceTruckingInternational rail

German strikes over pay dispute cripple transportation network

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Mar 27, 2023, 11:36 AM EDT

German unions demanding inflation-busting wage increases walked off the job Monday, bringing the country’s transport system to a halt.
SurfaceForwardingRailInternational railAirportsAir cargo forwardingTransport, trade and regulation

CP-KCS could benefit from rising tide of cross-border freight from Mexico

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Mar 16, 2023, 4:43 PM EDT

The combined railroad has an opportunity to divert more than 64,000 truck shipments to intermodal rail, according to S&P Global, but that’s only the crest of a wave of US imports from Mexico. 
SurfaceTruckingRailInternational railIntermodal providers

Russia picks up rail freight slack as China-Europe volume slumps

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Feb 21, 2023, 2:15 PM EST

Official data shows overall volumes on the China-Europe rail network rose 6 percent last year over the then-record throughput handled in 2021, but there is no distinction between cargo destined for Europe or Russia.
RailForwardingAsia-EuropeInternational railIntermodal providers

WiseTech continues acquisition campaign with $414 million Blume purchase

Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor | Feb 16, 2023, 9:09 PM EST

WiseTech Global is doubling down on its reach into US intermodal networks with its $414 million purchase of Blume Global three weeks after acquiring drayage tech provider Envase.
Logistics technologyMaritimeForwardingInternational railIntermodal providers

Cap European rail electricity price hikes or lose out to road: intermodal group

Greg Knowler, Senior Editor Europe | Feb 16, 2023, 10:11 AM EST

Long-haul rail freight in Europe, the main alternative to road transport, is being undermined as the cost of electricity far outstrips diesel, say combined transport stakeholders.
RailTruckingLTLInternational railIntermodal providers

Loss of Russia rail volume offset by rising Central Asia trade

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Dec 9, 2022, 10:24 AM EST

A broad shift in China-Europe rail from the northern route through Russia to the middle corridor transiting Central Asia is unlocking new and largely untapped containerized markets for service providers.
International rail

Meeting Europe’s modal shift to rail will top $500 billion: study

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Dec 5, 2022, 12:40 PM EST

Moving a significant share of Europe’s inland cargo from road to rail will be costly and challenging, but it is achievable through better utilization of door-to-door combined transport, a new report has found.
International railBreakbulk carriers

Rising electricity prices erode European rail competitiveness

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Sep 8, 2022, 9:40 AM EDT

The rising cost of electricity is the latest challenge facing rail freight in Europe, which finds itself being uncompetitive with trucking while at the same time being overwhelmed by growing volumes.
International railAsia-Europe

European rail network must adapt to ‘new reality’: intermodal union

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Sep 1, 2022, 11:44 AM EDT

Multiple crises in Europe are leading to greater demand for rail transport, but the network is not able to handle any large-scale cargo shift from the disrupted road and barge sectors.
International rail

Multiple pain points test forwarders on China–Europe rail route

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Aug 5, 2022, 11:24 AM EDT

The main rail option from China for European importers is via the so-called “middle corridor,” but as demand steadily increases, so too are the many chokepoints along the route.
International railAsia-Europe

Rising demand keeps China-Europe 'middle' rail route under pressure

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Jun 30, 2022, 9:55 AM EDT

Elevated demand for rail cargo on the only viable China-Europe rail route continues to overwhelm the existing infrastructure, with congestion building at Central Asian intermodal points.
International rail

FMC members urge STB rejection of CP-KCS merger

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | Jun 23, 2022, 3:26 PM EDT

Three FMC members ask the STB not to approve the proposed merger of Canadian Pacific Railway and Kansas City Southern, saying the deal would result in the loss of cargo to Canadian ports.
International rail

China-Europe ‘middle’ rail corridor has long-term potential: Maersk

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Jun 1, 2022, 11:58 AM EDT

The only real option at present for rail cargo from China to Europe is the so-called “middle corridor,” even though the transit is often longer than ocean and 30 percent more expensive than the largely out-of-bounds northern alternative through Russia.
International rail

CP inks deal to move CMA CGM volumes in Canada

Teri Errico Griffis, Associate Editor | May 31, 2022, 5:24 PM EDT

A new multi-year agreement will allow Canadian Pacific to handle the majority of CMA CGM’s freight through Canada, underscoring the railroad’s aggressive approach to gaining international intermodal volume.
International rail

Falling China-Europe rail volumes may take years to recover: rail executives

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Apr 6, 2022, 12:28 PM EDT

Shippers and their service providers exiting the China-Europe rail route through Russia has slammed the brakes on a trade lane that expanded by almost 30 percent in 2021.
International rail

China-Europe rail under threat as shippers exit Russian route

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Mar 16, 2022, 1:40 PM EDT

For China-Europe rail shippers, there are precious few alternatives to the northern corridor that passes through Russia and Belarus and handles almost all the volume moved on the land bridge.
International rail

Asia-Europe rail cargo under pressure with Belarus booking suspensions

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Mar 4, 2022, 2:04 PM EST

The land bridge rail network between Asia and North Europe, a popular alternative to ocean shipping, is now restricted as carriers suspend bookings to a key rail hub in Belarus.
International rail

Forwarders add Asia air, rail services as Omicron spreads

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Jan 28, 2022, 12:26 PM EST

The creativity of service providers is being tested as COVID-19 infections continue to spread around Asia and disrupt regional supply lines.
Air cargo forwardingInternational railAirports

China-Europe rail slowdown gives respite to stretched network

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Jan 26, 2022, 10:36 AM EST

The freight volumes that have stressed the Asia-Europe rail trade for the past 10 months after shifting from the congested and costly air and ocean markets have begun to ease ahead of Chinese New Year.
International rail

Outlook 2022: Shippers seek resilience in upended transportation markets

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Dec 27, 2021, 9:12 AM EST

Pandemic-born disruption will continue forcing logistics practitioners to rework supply chains in 2022 to deal with ongoing congestion and equipment shortages.
Supply ChainInternational rail

JOC Rankings: COVID-19 drove revenue gains for air freight, final-mile providers in 2020

Michael Angell, Associate Editor | Oct 22, 2021, 4:27 PM EDT

International air freight and last-mile delivery saw the fastest revenue growth in the transportation sector last year, while industrial transportation suffered.
ForwardingContainer linesTruckingInternational railNorth-American railAir cargo carriersLast mile

Chennai-JNPT rail opening amplifies Indian cargo rerouting trends

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Aug 23, 2021, 7:00 AM EDT

Block train activity has lately become a hot carrier play as operators active out of India work to deftly manage available capacity in an elevated freight market.
International rail

Maersk builds on JNPT intermodal to grab cargo sent via Colombo

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Jul 12, 2021, 7:00 AM EDT

The new Balli intermodal play in India builds on Maersk’s ongoing efforts to target new customer segments predominantly tethered to transshipping in the absence of long-haul direct carrier calls in the region.
International rail

CMA CGM boosts inland reach with Spanish rail acquisition

Greg Knowler, Senior Europe Editor | Jul 1, 2021, 2:09 PM EDT

CMA CGM has acquired a rail operator in Spain, adding an intermodal dimension to the ocean carrier’s expanding integrated service portfolio.
Container linesInternational rail

Concor launches intermodal reefer service from JNPT

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Jun 14, 2021, 2:56 PM EDT

Heightened cargo demand and congestion issues at transshipment hub Colombo, Sri Lanka, are spurring new containerized rail services to India’s interior.
Logistics technologyInternational rail

Carrier-led block rail push poised to lift sagging India intermodal play

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Feb 8, 2021, 3:30 PM EST

As cost-conscious India shippers seek “more for less,” value-added services have begun to occupy center stage in freight contract negotiations, including bespoke intermodal services.
International rail

Maersk leads rerouting Indian east coast cargo to JNPT via block rail

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Jan 25, 2021, 9:45 AM EST

Maersk has teamed up with intermodal rail giant Container Corporation of India to offer block train movement from Kolkata to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to feed the carrier’s weekly long-haul sailings out of the busy public harbor.
International rail

Indian rail incentives for empty boxes have shippers eyeing lower rates

Bency Mathew, Special India Correspondent | Dec 23, 2020, 10:38 AM EST

Carriers believe new Indian rail incentives, coupled with the recent lifting of a 14-day quarantine for incoming Chinese vessels, will have a positive impact on inventory flow.
International rail

CSX service deteriorates at Georgia, Florida terminals

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Sep 18, 2020, 4:42 PM EDT

As container volume has picked up, trucking and logistics executives say that CSX’s domestic intermodal service has become unreliable in two key southeast US rail ramps.
North-American railInternational rail

BNSF veteran Farmer named new CEO

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Sep 14, 2020, 5:39 PM EDT

BNSF has named Kathryn Farmer, who has been with the western railroad for 28 years, as its new CEO effective Jan. 1, 2021. She will become the first female CEO of a North American Class I railroad.
North-American railInternational rail

UP levying $500 surcharge in Seattle next month

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Aug 25, 2020, 12:25 PM EDT

Union Pacific Railroad will institute a $500 surcharge on excess cargo for all shippers in Seattle to divert as many assets to Los Angeles as possible amid record-breaking cargo spikes in Southern California.
North-American railInternational rail

UP levying $3,500 surcharge on small shippers out of LA

Ari Ashe, Senior Editor | Aug 20, 2020, 1:34 PM EDT

For the third time this month, Union Pacific has increased spot rates and its peak season surcharge in Los Angeles, raising prices on small shippers to record levels and likely pushing excess cargo back to trucking.
North-American railInternational rail