As the first ever direct container train from China to the UK arrived yesterday, forwarders were probably pondering whether any existing Chinese trade could transition to this new platform.

Whilst there were many witnessing the trains arrival at Barking, Jordons Ops Manager, Doug French and colleague Kieran Bultitude, were attending a celebratory event with the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) where speakers were giving key note speeches on the future of the service.

The trains 18 day journey originated in Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang and that transit time makes it twice as fast as traditional sea freight. Whilst the train, currently a trial, was only pulling 34 fourty foot containers this was a show of what was once unthinkable, is now achievable.

We expect initial inbound goods will be time-sensitive, such as promotion material, automotive parts and electronics whereas the return leg is much more open.

Estimates of the cost suggest around half the price of air freight with transit times half those of sea freight.

We say more choice is better for customers and this rail option fits the middle ground perfectly. If you have any questions or interest in this new service please do not hesitate to contact Doug here who is our Asia-Europe rail champion.