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January 6 2020

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Januar y 6 2020 | The Journal of Commerce 91 www.joc.com ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2020 Surface Transportation of trains increased 73 percent year over year, to 6,363, with volume growing 35 percent to 370,000 TEU, according to Swiss consulting firm Prognos. More than 7,500 trains are expected on the China-Europe net- work this year, connecting 56 Chinese cities and 50 hubs in Eu- rope. But it's an inefficient system on both sides, especially when it comes to the growing demand for less-than-containerload (LCL) cargo that requires consolidation points, according to Wubbo Mossing Holsteijn, business development manager for Nunner Logistics. "The problem for LCL is that every city's rail platform in China has its own targets, and each is required to handle a certain number of trains," Holsteijn told the Euro- pean Silk Road Summit in Venlo, Netherlands. Only full trains qualify for subsidies, so consolidation points near rail hubs are crucial for LCL service providers. Holsteijn said there is space for four or five hubs in China. "We think Xi'an will have the role as the major hub, as most trains pass through there. Xi'an will play a greater role as a main hub for Central and South China, with a fast shuttle network to all cities in the country," he said. "There will be other endpoints, but A maturing system China-Europe rail network evolves to the next level By Greg Knowler THE FREE-FOR-ALL GROWTH period that has characterized the rapid development of China-Europe rail since 2013, sent volume soaring, and saw cities across Europe and China jostling for position as rail hubs, appears to be over. China subsidies are to be scaled down in 2020 and the focus is shifting toward creating a more efficient hub-and-spoke sys- tem at each end of the network. Not that the volume growth has slowed. In 2018, the number Need an extra 200,000 square feet of distribution space? Let's go.

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