The possible reasons why containers stayed in terminals for weeks after arrival

After running more than 1,000 trains for 14 consecutive months and 1300 trains for two consecutive months, Eurasia Freight Train may face the difficulty of backlog and congestion across the whole railway line.

Such difficulty appears at the entry and exit ports of China: Within whole month of July, China Railway Group Co., Ltd. issued three orders to the Xinjiang border port. Due to the backlog of border ports, the export cargo transited to Alashankou and Horgos will be suspended from 18:00 on July 21st to 18:00 on July 26th in all stations except for the Eurasia Freight Train.

This difficulty also appears at the backend of Eurasia Freight Train. During this period, the backlog of container cargo at european terminals get attentions. “Some containers were not taken delivery for a month after arriving at the terminal, which affected the turnover of the station.”

But why didn’t clients take delivery of goods and containers? It took more than a month to transit containers and goods to German terminal with difficulty. Why didn’t European clients take delivery of their containers? New Silkroad Discovery surveyed this in the freight forwarding group.

Shortage of drivers, difficult arrangement of haulage trucks?

Some freight forwarders said that there is a shortage of drivers in many places in Europe, and the haulage truck companies are too busy to appoint drivers for taking delivery of goods.

Some other told New Silkroad Discovery that the arrival time is difficult to confirm due to the delay in the previous sections of Eurasia Freight Train, then it becomes difficult to arrange haulage truck in advance.

Lack of manpower in warehouses?

Some added that the European client companies are short of manpower in their warehouses. Even if they have taken delivery of goods from the terminal, they might have suffered from lack of people to unload the goods, so they have had to stop taking delivery of goods. It is equivalent to treating ports and terminals as temporary warehouses.

Inefficiency of local authorities?

There is also complains about the bureaucracy and inefficiency of the local authorities. The local customs are slow and inefficient in their work. When the consignee receives the temporary permit ATB document from the customs very late, subsequent customs clearance or transit will also be affected. In this lengthy process, regardless of whether the low efficiency is happened to carrier, customs brokers or customs itself, any part with problem seems to create same result.

low storage fees at terminals?

Other interviewees also stated that the current storage fees at terminals are relatively cheap, so that many clients are willing to leave their goods at the terminal. Overdue storage of containers and goods will incur overdue storage fees. Clients need to provide documents as required and pay taxes as soon as possible. If the customs clearance documents provided have flaws or defects, or the payment is slow, it will also affect the speed of taking delivery of containers.

High demand for cross-border trade?

Some people believes that, with the increasing demand for westward trade and transportation, the total import volume of Germany and Europe is too large, and the turnover rate of ports and terminals will inevitably be affected.

With the long-term high demand for cross-border trade, the cumulative import volume from China to Europe is increasing. The Eurasia Freight Train provides a passage for transiting a large number of cargoes from China to Europe. But whether Europe has enough processing capacity to receive such a large flow of imported goods is another question.

The supply chain is so fragile. When the entire supply chain is under constant pressure, and problems appear at multiple chain nodes and continue to trigger chain reactions, it might be difficult for us to excoriate which part is wrong.


Reporter:  Gong-Wei Lou