Record and deadly floods in China leave Silk Road trains untouched

The biblical disaster unfolding in China, with several people dead and massive destruction of infrastructure because of roaming typhoons, has somehow not disrupted Eurasian rail transport. According to reports from platform companies in China and industry professionals, international rail freight operations have not been affected.

The situation is stable, at least for Silk Road trains, because the floods are taking place in regions that are not significant in terms of Eurasian rail freight transport. The platform companies of Xi’an and Chongqing have commented on that their operations continue unhindered, something that Frank Shao, CEO of Tiedada, also confirmed.

Nevertheless, major infrastructure problems were not avoided in China, with reports concerned about delays in global supply chains that could intensify by potential labour shortages given the emergency. At the same time, Japan and Taiwan are also affected by the typhoon, increasing the possibility of partial transport impairments in the broader region.

Sea shipping at stake

A report from Container xChange said that railways in China have been affected regionally, with three trains stranded after a total transport cut-off in some affected areas. Other than that, and despite parts of railway infrastructure being impacted, the overall picture for rail is not too concerning.

That does not apply to sea shipping, with Chinese authorities urging ships to return to ports that provide more safety. Additionally, they have mandated logistics facilities to brace for the extreme weather impact by taking the necessary precautions. All these, combined with the fact that many people will not be able to go to work, raise concerns about a transport slowdown also affected by slower cargo handling or customs clearance procedures.

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Autor/a Nikos Papatolios