Sea & Rail in the spotlight as ocean freight rates to Europe soar again

Demand is growing for an alternative service to Sea & Rail, which uses transcontinental cross-border freight rail from Russia and China for shipments from Japan to Europe. Traditionally, rail freight rates to Europe were several times higher than those of all-water shipping, and although the number of transport days was short, the rates were an issue. With the temporary blockade of the Suez Canal in full swing by last month, sea freight rates on European routes have risen even higher, and the freight rate gap has narrowed significantly, and depending on the destination and other factors, the rates are equal or even reversed in some cases. However, sea and rail transport will also be delayed, and the rapid increase in the number of trains will cause congestion in border areas, resulting in delays and increased lead times. The railroads are also experiencing difficulties in making arrangements due to a shortage of empty containers, causing a sharp rise in container leasing fees.

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