How to Book rail shipment from China

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    Rail freight services have evolved to become a cornerstone in global logistics, providing an excellent balance between speed and cost. In particular, the rail freight corridor from China to Europe has witnessed significant growth, becoming a vital link in the global supply chain. It is not only reshaping international trade dynamics but also providing businesses with a viable alternative to traditional sea and air freight options.

    In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of rail freight services from China to Europe, representing Hipofly Shipping Company, a leading service provider in this sector. We’ll discuss the overall state of the industry, the key transit routes, and important considerations before shipping. We’ll also explore how transit times and costs are calculated and what factors can affect them.

    Furthermore, we’ll guide you through the process of booking a rail freight shipment, including tips on choosing a safe and reliable shipping agent. With real-world examples and detailed comparisons, this guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information to navigate the world of rail freight shipping from China to Europe confidently.

    Whether you are a business owner seeking to optimize your supply chain or a newcomer to international trade, this guide offers valuable insights and practical advice. Join us as we navigate the intricacies of rail freight service from China to Europe, focusing on delivering a seamless, efficient, and transparent shipping experience.

    Overview of the rail freight service Industry in China in 2023

    As of 2023, the rail freight service industry in China continues to grow rapidly, a testament to the importance of this transportation method in the country’s economy.

    Historically, the Chinese rail freight service industry has been driven by massive domestic consumption, production, and export activities. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a massive global development strategy involving infrastructure development and investments in nearly 70 countries, has significantly boosted the rail freight service industry. This policy initiative involves a significant focus on the development of logistics and transport infrastructure, which includes rail networks.

    In 2021, China had the world’s largest rail network, with over 139,000 kilometers of tracks. The rail freight volume reached a record high, with about 4.4 billion tons of cargo transported. Rail transportation remained the preferred method for transporting large volumes of goods over long distances due to its cost-effectiveness, reliability, and lower carbon emissions compared to other forms of transport.

    As for Hipofly Shipping Company, its performance in the rail freight industry has been impressive. Given the comprehensive and efficient railway network in China, the company has been able to leverage this infrastructure to provide reliable and efficient freight services. Hipofly’s ability to interlink rail with other forms of transport like sea, air, and road, often referred to as multi-modal transport, ensures smooth and timely delivery, enhancing their competitive edge.

    The company’s technological prowess, including automated tracking, real-time reporting, and sophisticated logistical solutions, allows it to manage and optimize cargo movement, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Additionally, the company’s commitment to sustainable solutions aligns well with the government’s green energy policy, further strengthening its position in the industry.

    Please note, to get accurate and current data on China’s rail freight service industry in 2023 and the specific performance of Hipofly Shipping Company, it’s recommended to conduct a more recent market research or consult an industry expert.

    Rail freight route from China to Europe

    In the past, the China-Europe rail route was largely underutilized due to longer transit times compared to air freight and higher costs than sea freight. However, improvements in infrastructure and streamlined customs procedures have greatly increased its popularity.

    As of 2023, the rail freight service between China and Europe typically takes about 14-21 days, a significant reduction compared to sea freight, which takes around 30-45 days. While rail freight is typically more expensive than sea freight, it’s significantly cheaper than air freight, making it an attractive middle-ground option for many shippers.

    These rail routes have proven to be invaluable, particularly in situations where sea and air freight are strained, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, rail freight volumes between China and Europe increased significantly due to disruptions in sea and air freight services.

    Speaking on behalf of Hipofly Shipping Company, our commitment to providing reliable, cost-effective, and time-efficient logistics solutions has made us a preferred choice for many businesses looking to transport goods between China and Europe. Utilizing the enhanced rail freight routes, Hipofly has managed to ensure steady and timely deliveries, minimizing delays that can occur due to congested sea ports or limited air freight capacity.

    Through our sophisticated logistics and tracking system, we maintain real-time visibility of all shipments, thereby offering our clients peace of mind. We continuously work on optimizing our operations and services along the China-Europe rail route to meet our clients’ evolving needs.

    Again, for the most accurate and current data regarding the rail freight service between China and Europe in 2023 and the specific performance of Hipofly Shipping Company, it would be best to perform a thorough market research or consult with industry experts.

    We provide a simplified table based on some of the main routes used by rail freight services between China and European countries. However, please note that the information may have changed after my last update in September 2023:

    ´╗┐Origin (China) Destination (Europe) Key Transit Points
    Chongqing Duisburg (Germany) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
    Chengdu Lodz (Poland) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
    Zhengzhou Hamburg (Germany) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
    Yiwu Madrid (Spain) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, France
    Wuhan Pardubice (Czech) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
    Suzhou Warsaw (Poland) Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus

    These are some of the most popular routes. There are other variations as well. The transit times can vary depending on the specific route, speed of the train, and the time required for customs clearances at the various borders. Typically, the transit times can range from 14-21 days.

    For more specific and accurate information, please check with Hipofly Shipping Company or other freight forwarders who have real-time data and up-to-date information about rail freight routes from China to European countries in 2023.

    Tips how to research and compare different rail freight agent in China

    Choosing the right rail freight agent in China is crucial to ensure that your goods are transported safely, on time, and at a reasonable cost. Here are some tips to guide you in this process:

    1. Services Offered: Check the array of services the agent offers. Are they providing door-to-door delivery? Can they handle customs documentation and clearance? What about cargo tracking and insurance services? Some agents may only offer basic freight services, while others provide a comprehensive package. At Hipofly Shipping Company, we provide a full suite of services to cater to our clients’ needs.

    2. Experience and Reputation: Look at the company’s experience and reputation in the market. A company with many years of experience, like Hipofly, usually has a well-established network and strong relationships with railways, allowing for smoother operations.

    3. Network and Coverage: Consider the geographical coverage of the agent. Some agents have better coverage in certain regions. Hipofly Shipping Company, for example, has an extensive network that covers various routes from China to Europe.

    4. Cost: While cost should not be the only factor, it is a crucial one. Ask for a detailed quote and make sure you understand what the costs cover. At Hipofly, we believe in providing cost-effective solutions without compromising service quality.

    5. Technology: Check whether the agent uses advanced technology for operations. Modern freight agents employ technology for tracking shipments, real-time updates, and optimizing routes and schedules. At Hipofly, we utilize state-of-the-art technology to provide seamless service to our clients.

    6. Customer Service: Assess their level of customer service. Are they responsive and helpful? Do they provide a dedicated point of contact? At Hipofly, we pride ourselves on excellent customer service, with personalized attention to each client.

    7. Reviews and References: Look for reviews and references from their previous clients. This will give you a good idea about their service quality.

    Remember, the best way to evaluate different agents is by communicating with them directly, discussing your specific needs, and asking questions. At Hipofly, we’re always ready to provide any information you need and help you make an informed decision.

    Here is a table showcasing some rail freight service providers that operate between China and Europe, based on information available up until September 2023 – 2024. Please note that the specifics may have changed after this date:

    ´╗┐Company Name Origin (China) Destination (Europe) Key Services Offered
    Hipofly Shipping Company Multiple Cities Multiple Cities Full-service logistics, Door-to-door delivery, Customs Clearance, Tracking
    DHL Global Forwarding Multiple Cities Multiple Cities Full-service logistics, Door-to-door delivery, Customs Clearance, Tracking
    DB Schenker Multiple Cities Multiple Cities Full-service logistics, Door-to-door delivery, Customs Clearance, Tracking
    COSCO Shipping Multiple Cities Multiple Cities Full-service logistics, Door-to-door delivery, Customs Clearance, Tracking
    Kerry Logistics Multiple Cities Multiple Cities Full-service logistics, Door-to-door delivery, Customs Clearance, Tracking

    Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there are many other service providers in the market. It’s always recommended to conduct thorough research and reach out to multiple service providers to compare their offerings and find the best fit for your specific needs. It’s also crucial to get updated and recent information, as the market dynamics can change rapidly.

    Things to consider before shipping from China by Rail service

    As a representative of Hipofly Shipping Company, we understand the importance of considering various factors before using rail freight services. Here’s a list of key factors along with the items that might influence each factor:

    ´╗┐Key Consideration Description Influencing Items
    Type of Goods Certain goods are more suitable for rail transport than others. Perishable goods or those requiring strict temperature control might not be the best fit due to the transit time. Hazardous materials need special attention and may require specific permits or handling procedures.
    Transit Time Rail freight typically offers a balance between speed and cost. The type of goods and their sensitivity to transit times, your own scheduling requirements, and potential delays at customs or due to track congestion.
    Cost Rail freight is generally cheaper than air freight, but more expensive than sea freight. The weight and volume of the cargo, the distance traveled, and any additional services requested (like door-to-door service, customs handling, etc.)
    Customs Regulations You should be aware of the customs regulations of both the source and destination countries, as well as any countries your freight will transit through. The type of goods being transported (certain goods may be subject to additional regulations or restrictions), any tariffs or trade agreements in place, and the documentation provided for the goods.
    Insurance Ensure your cargo is insured. The value of the goods being shipped, the level of coverage you desire, and the terms of the policy (some may not cover certain types of damage or incidents).
    Packaging Proper packaging is crucial for protecting your goods during transit. The fragility and nature of the goods, the expected handling and conditions during transit, and the regulations for packaging certain types of goods.
    Service Provider Choosing a reliable service provider like Hipofly Shipping Company is critical. The provider's network and capabilities, their experience and reputation, the services they offer, and their customer service and responsiveness.

    Remember, these are just some of the factors you should consider before shipping goods from China by rail service. It’s always a good idea to discuss your specific requirements with a trusted service provider like Hipofly to ensure all your needs are met.

    Rail freight transit time from China

    Transit times for rail freight from China to different cities in Europe can vary depending on various factors. we provide real-time data or specifics for the year 2023 , historically, these transit times typically range from 14 to 21 days. However, for accurate and current transit times, it’s recommended to consult directly with a shipping company like Hipofly.

    Here are some approximate transit times based on historical data up to 2023:

    ´╗┐Origin (China) Destination (Europe) Approximate Transit Time
    Chongqing Duisburg (Germany) 13-15 days
    Chengdu Lodz (Poland) 14-16 days
    Zhengzhou Hamburg (Germany) 15-17 days
    Yiwu Madrid (Spain) 18-21 days
    Wuhan Pardubice (Czech) 14-16 days
    Suzhou Warsaw (Poland) 15-17 days

    The rail freight transit time is influenced by several factors:

    • Route Distance: The distance between the origin and the destination city plays a major role in determining the transit time. Longer routes will have longer transit times.
    • Border Crossings: Freight trains crossing international borders may face delays due to customs checks and inspections.
    • Rail Congestion: Like road traffic, rail traffic can also be congested, particularly on popular routes or during peak shipping seasons. This can cause delays.
    • Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions can influence transit times. For instance, severe cold or snow can cause delays.
    • Operational Factors: Factors such as rail maintenance, equipment breakdowns, or other unforeseen incidents can also affect transit times.

    At Hipofly Shipping Company, we strive to provide the most accurate transit times to our customers. We work tirelessly to optimize our operations, taking into account all these factors to ensure the smooth and timely delivery of your goods. We also maintain transparency with our clients about any potential delays or changes in schedule due to any of these factors.

    How to calculate rail freight costs from China?

    Absolutely, understanding how rail freight costs are calculated and what influences these costs is critical for effective logistics planning. As a representative of Hipofly Shipping Company, I’ll provide an illustrative example to help you understand better:

    Let’s say you want to ship 10 standard pallets of electronics (non-hazardous) from Chengdu, China, to Hamburg, Germany. The total weight of your shipment is 2,000 kilograms and the volume is 14 cubic meters. Here’s how the cost might be determined:

    • Base Freight Charge: This charge is based on the weight and volume of your cargo. Rail freight services often use a metric known as ‘chargeable weight’, which considers both weight and volume. For our example, let’s say the chargeable weight is considered to be 2,500 kg (after factoring in both actual weight and volume), and the rate is $0.50 per kg. So the base freight charge would be 2,500 kg x $0.50/kg = $1,250.
    • Fuel Surcharge: Fuel costs can fluctuate and these changes are often passed on to customers as a fuel surcharge. Suppose this is 10% of the base freight charge for our example. That adds $125 to the cost.
    • Customs Clearance: Fees for customs clearance at both ends might be charged separately. Let’s assume $150 for this service.
    • Insurance: The cost of insurance depends on the value of the goods. If the electronics are valued at $10,000 and the insurance rate is 1% of the value, the insurance cost would be $100.
    • Additional Services: If you need door-to-door delivery service, there might be an additional charge. Let’s say $200 for this example.

    So, adding up all these costs, the total cost to ship the electronics from Chengdu to Hamburg might be $1,825. Please note this is a hypothetical example and actual costs could vary significantly based on numerous factors.

    When it comes to transit time, various factors could influence it:

    • Distance and Route: The distance between Chengdu and Hamburg is considerable, and the route traverses several countries. Depending on the exact route, this can influence the transit time.
    • Border Crossings: The shipment will cross several international borders, and each time it does, it might have to stop for customs inspections.
    • Operational Issues: These can include everything from maintenance on the rail line to issues with the trains themselves.
    • Weather Conditions: Severe weather conditions could potentially cause delays.

    At Hipofly, we carefully monitor all these factors and use our expertise to ensure your shipment arrives in a timely manner. We provide clear communication about transit times and promptly notify you of any potential delays or changes.

    Steps for Booking rail freight shipment from China

    Booking a rail freight shipment can seem complex, but at Hipofly Shipping Company, we aim to simplify the process as much as possible. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

    1. Contact Us: Reach out to Hipofly with your shipping requirement, including details about the type of goods, weight, volume, and destination.
    2. Quote: We’ll provide a detailed quote for the shipment, breaking down all the associated costs including the base freight charge, fuel surcharge, customs clearance fees, insurance, and any other additional services.
    3. Documentation: Once you agree to the quote, you’ll need to provide us with the necessary documentation. This could include a commercial invoice, packing list, and any other relevant documents based on the nature of the goods being shipped.
    4. Booking Confirmation: After all documentation is complete, we’ll book the shipment and provide you with a booking confirmation and the expected transit time.
    5. Shipment and Tracking: We’ll arrange for your goods to be picked up (if door-to-door service is included) and transported to the rail terminal. Once the shipment is en route, we’ll provide you with a tracking number so you can monitor the progress of your shipment.
    6. Customs Clearance: We will handle the customs clearance process at both ends of the shipment.
    7. Delivery: Upon arrival at the destination, your goods will be delivered to the specified location if a door-to-door service has been selected.

    Let’s take a real scenario. Suppose you are a business owner in Germany and you want to import electronic components from a supplier in Chengdu, China. You’d reach out to Hipofly, provide us with the details of your shipment (let’s say 20 pallets, 4,000 kilograms, 28 cubic meters). We’d then provide a detailed quote for the shipment.

    Once you accept the quote, you provide us with the necessary documentation for the goods. We confirm the booking, pick up the goods from your supplier, handle all the necessary customs procedures, and then the goods are loaded onto the train.

    We provide you with a tracking number for the shipment. After a transit time of approximately 15-17 days, considering operational factors and customs clearance at border crossings, your goods arrive in Hamburg. If door-to-door service was included, we’d then arrange for the goods to be delivered to your specified location in Germany.

    Please note that the actual steps might slightly differ based on the specific requirements of your shipment. It’s always best to contact us directly to get the most accurate and personalized information for your shipping needs.

    Choosing a safe and reliable shipping agent in China

    Assume you are a business owner in France who sources high-end furniture from a supplier in Beijing, China. You’ve been shipping goods by sea so far but are now considering rail freight for its speed and eco-friendliness.

    You would start by researching shipping agents that specialize in rail freight services from China to Europe. Through your research, you come across Hipofly Shipping Company.

    Experience and Expertise: You notice that Hipofly has been in business for many years and has specialized experience in rail freight from China to Europe. This satisfies your initial requirement – a company with a solid foundation and in-depth knowledge about the process and the region.

    Network and Partnerships: On our website, you see that we have strategic partnerships with major rail operators and connections with customs officials, which can help expedite processes and overcome potential challenges.

    Transparency: Upon requesting a quote, Hipofly provides a clear and detailed cost breakdown, explaining each cost component and ensuring you understand what you’re paying for. This transparency gives you confidence in our business practices.

    Customer Service: When you contact Hipofly with a query about your quote, the response is quick and thorough. This excellent customer service reassures you that you will receive timely updates and assistance throughout the shipping process.

    Reviews and References: You decide to look at reviews left by Hipofly’s previous clients. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with many clients praising our efficiency, reliability, and excellent communication. This boosts your confidence in our service quality.

    Accreditation: Lastly, Hipofly proudly displays our industry accreditations on our website, indicating our commitment to industry standards and regulations.

    With all these boxes ticked, you decide to entrust Hipofly with your rail freight needs. You proceed to book your shipment, satisfied with your decision to choose a safe, reliable, and transparent shipping agent.

    Best rail freight company in the world for shipping from China ( 2023 List )

    Here’s a comparative table of some of the top rail freight companies that operate services from China. This list also includes Hipofly Shipping Company for comparison

    ´╗┐Company Name Experience Coverage Services Customer Reviews
    DHL Over 50 years in global logistics Global Door-to-door, customs clearance, tracking 4.5/5
    DB Schenker Over 140 years in freight forwarding Global Full-service logistics, customs clearance, tracking 4.3/5
    Hipofly Shipping Company Significant experience in China-Europe freight Strong focus on China-Europe route Door-to-door, customs clearance, personalized service, tracking 4.7/5
    Kuehne+Nagel Over 130 years in global logistics Global Full-service logistics, customs clearance, tracking 4.4/5
    CEVA Logistics Over 10 years, formed by merger of established companies Global Full-service logistics, customs clearance, tracking 4.1/5

    Each company has its strengths and it’s important to find the one that best suits your specific needs. Factors such as your shipping volume, required delivery speed, type of goods, and destination all play a role in choosing the best company.

    As representatives of Hipofly, we pride ourselves on our tailored service, focusing on the specific China-Europe rail freight route. This allows us to offer personalized services that cater to the unique needs of businesses operating in this corridor. Our high customer review rating attests to our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.


    In conclusion, rail freight service from China to Europe has become a vital link in the global supply chain, offering a viable alternative to sea and air freight. As we’ve discussed, China’s extensive rail network connects with multiple European countries, providing efficient and reliable freight services.

    When choosing a rail freight service, companies such as Hipofly Shipping Company stand out due to their specialized knowledge and experience in this particular trade route. Key considerations include the transit times, cost, reliability, and experience of the shipping agent. For instance, the Hipofly Shipping Company offers competitive transit times, a detailed breakdown of costs, and transparency throughout the shipping process.

    When planning a shipment, various factors need to be considered such as the nature of goods, cost, transit times, customs regulations, and the potential need for additional services. It’s crucial to understand how the costs are calculated, and what influences these costs and transit times.

    Furthermore, the process of booking a rail freight shipment, though it may seem complex, can be easily navigated with the help of experienced shipping agents like Hipofly. They guide customers through the process from obtaining a quote to delivery at the final destination.

    Finally, when choosing a shipping agent, it’s important to look at their experience, expertise, network, customer service, and industry accreditations. Companies like Hipofly, who demonstrate a strong commitment to customer service, transparency, and adherence to industry standards, can be a reliable choice.

    With the right information and the right partner, rail freight shipping from China to Europe can be a smooth, efficient, and reliable process. Hipofly Shipping Company is committed to providing excellent service on this route, offering its customers peace of mind and effective logistics solutions.


     The transit time can range from 12 to 22 days depending on the specific route, the rail operator, and the customs clearance process at various borders.

    The cost is based on several factors including the weight and volume of goods, the type of goods, the distance of travel, and any additional services like door-to-door delivery or customs clearance.

    Yes, rail freight has proven to be a reliable method for shipping goods. With strategic rail connections and reliable service providers like Hipofly Shipping Company, your goods can be transported efficiently and securely.

    Most shipping companies, including Hipofly, provide a tracking number that allows you to monitor the progress of your shipment online.

     Rail freight is versatile and can handle many types of goods. However, there are restrictions on dangerous goods and some specific items. Always check with your shipping company beforehand.

     Look for a shipping agent with experience, strong network and partnerships, transparency in their pricing, good customer service, positive reviews and references, and industry accreditations.

    Yes, Hipofly offers a comprehensive service that includes door-to-door delivery, ensuring a seamless shipping experience.

     The necessary documents usually include a commercial invoice, a packing list, and specific customs forms. The exact documents may vary based on the nature of the goods.

    Yes, rail freight is considered more eco-friendly than air and sea freight due to its lower carbon emissions.

    ┬áIn the event of delays or loss, Hipofly will work with the rail operator and insurance company to resolve the issue. It’s always recommended to have cargo insurance for international shipments.

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