First China to Barking train en route laden with goods

Traditionally if you were sourcing stock in China you’d either pay to fly small lightweight items to the UK, or you would be waiting a couple of months for them to be loaded onto a ship and make their way across the high seas. Now there’s a new alternative, the train.

In an unlikely move, there’s a new China Railway Corporation service direct from Zhengzhou passing from China through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belguim and France before crossing under the English Channel on the Eurostar route to arrive in Barking, Essex.

The first 200 container train left last Sunday but the mammoth 12,000 mile journey takes 18 days to complete and is part of a wider Chinese strategy to forge new trade links with the UK. Due to different railway gauges along what’s been dubbed “the New Silk Route”, containers will be offloaded onto new rolling stock in the course of it’s trip.

Cheaper than air freight, quicker that sea, there are some obvious advantages to shipping goods via train. If you’re importing from China ask your import agent if shipping by train would make commercial sense for your business.