A sharp increase in the incidence of coronavirus in China after the abolition of the principle of zero tolerance led to interruptions in the delivery of Chinese goods to the Russian Federation. This has had the greatest impact on rail traffic. It is reported by Railway Supply with reference to Rail.insider.


“If you now send cargo to Russia by train, then it will arrive at best by the end of January, but rather you should expect 1.5–2 months,” an employee of one of the logistics companies quotes the publication.

The Central Bank in the review of the regional economy estimated the time of transportation of containers by rail from the Far East to the western border of Russia at 13-20 days. In October-November, the standard delivery time from China to Moscow by rail was about 30 days, but it was clear that the stations of the Moscow railway junction could no longer cope with the load.

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On Russian territory, trains with containers often end up in a sump – both at the Bely Rast customs checkpoint on the border with China, and in Vorsino and Selyatino near Moscow, where they wait one or two weeks for unloading. And in China, since mid-December, there have been many cases when trains do not depart from local stations for weeks. It will certainly get worse, as some terminals are already telling customers that 70% of their employees are sick with coronavirus.

As for the sea route, “there have been problems with it for a long time.” The collapse that began in October continues in the Far East: ships arrive at the Vladivostok Commercial Seaport from China and Korea in 10-15 days, and then wait another 25 days for unloading. A large ZhongGu container ship has been in the road for the third month.

“You can unload faster at the terminal of the port owner, Fesco, but the price tag is exorbitant – one and a half times higher than usual,” the owner of the forwarding company admits. Delivery of a 40-foot container from Shanghai to Moscow by sea and rail now costs about $4,800, and directly by rail – $9,000 (with such transportation, the volume of containers is 12% more than that of sea ones).

According to unofficial estimates, after the lifting of severe covid restrictions in early December, 248 million people, or almost 18% of the population, became infected with the coronavirus in China (according to official statistics, there are fewer cases). Last week, on December 20, an absolute pandemic anti-record was set: 37 million people were infected in one day. The previous maximum increase in cases was in January, when 4 million people were infected per day.

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