Quotation Zhang, Xu, Schramm, Hans-Joachim. 2020. Assessing the Market Niche of Eurasian Rail Freight in the Belt and Road Era. International Journal of Logistics Management. 21 (4), 729-751.




This paper presents an overview of the recent development of Eurasian rail freight in the Belt and Road era and further evaluates its service quality in terms of transit times and transport costs compared to other transport modes in containerised supply chains between Europe and China. A trade-off model of transit time and transport costs based on quantitative data from primary and secondary sources is developed to demonstrate the market niche for Eurasian rail freight vis-a-vis the more established modes of transport of sea, air, and sea/air. In a scenario analysis, further cargo attributes influencing modal choice are employed to show for which cargo type Eurasian rail freight service is favourable from a shipper’s point of view. At present, Eurasian rail freight is about 80% less expensive than air freight with only half of the transit time of conventional sea freight. Our scenario analysis further suggests that for shipping time-sensitive goods with lower cargo value ranging from 1.23 USD/kg to 10.89 USD/kg as well as goods with lower time sensitivity and higher value in a range of 2.46 USD/kg to 21.78 USD/kg, total logistics costs of Eurasian rail freight service rail is cheaper than all other modes of transport. As an emerging competitive solution, Eurasian rail freight demonstrates to be an option beneficial in terms of transport cost, transit time, reliability and service availability, which offers a cost-efficient option enabling shippers to build up agile and more sustainable supply chains between China and Europe. Our study firstly provides a comprehensive assessment of present Eurasian rail freight including a thorough comparison with alternative modes of transport from a shipper’s point of view.


Press 'enter' for creating the tag

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal International Journal of Logistics Management
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-C
Language English
Title Assessing the Market Niche of Eurasian Rail Freight in the Belt and Road Era
Volume 21
Number 4
Year 2020
Page from 729
Page to 751
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJLM-12-2019-0351/full/html
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-12-2019-0351
Open Access N


Schramm, Hans-Joachim (Details)
Zhang, Xu (Technological University Dublin, Ireland)
Department of Global Business and Trade DP (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5300 Economics (Details)
5332 Transport economics (Details)
5336 Commodity science (Details)
5337 World trade science (Details)
5344 Foreign trade (Details)
5354 Business logistics (Details)
Google Scholar: Search