China-Russia Railway Transport Market Outlook and Freight Price Trends in 2024

China-Russia Railway Transport Market Outlook and Freight Price Trends in 2024

Dec 04, 2023

      As we approach the end of the year, we have to discuss the prospects and freight rate trends of the China-Russia railway transportation market. This year's peak season transportation market does not seem to be as strong as in previous years. The main reasons are seasonal factors and some supply and demand changes.


      First of all, in terms of freight rate increase, this year’s increase is relatively weak. In previous years, the freight rate increase at the end of the year was usually 15%-20%, and even during the epidemic, the increase could reach 30%-40%. Compared with the past, this year's increase is only 10%-15%. On the one hand, this situation is related to seasonal factors, and on the other hand, it is affected by the reduction of railway trains in the Kaliningrad region of Russia and the reduction of China station shipment plans.


      Judging from the demand for imported container transportation, compared with previous years, demand this year is slightly weaker. At the same time, the railway transportation market is facing more intense competition from the shipping market, which may also be one of the factors affecting freight rate increases. It is worth noting that no significant increase in demand has been observed yet.

      After the New Year, the China-Russia railway transportation market is expected to return to the level of October this year, and may drop by 10%-15% again. This changing trend is mainly affected by market supply and demand factors.


      On the other hand, freight rates may decline in the intermodal transport market due to intensified competition. Although the overall freight volume is relatively stable, the continuous influx of operators has led to intensified market competition, which has limited the increase in freight rates.


      For cargo owners and practitioners, how to grasp the freight rate trend in 2024? It is necessary to pay attention to the development of the global container shipping market. The global container shipping market is expected to continue to maintain low freight rates and ship capacity will continue to increase. Against this background, container freight rates in the China-Russia railway transport market are unlikely to see significant growth. Changes in special freight rates may depend on changes in China's railway policies and the intensity of competition among ocean carriers at Russian ports.


      Therefore, for cargo owners and practitioners, paying close attention to changes in market supply and demand, global shipping markets and railway policy dynamics will be the key to grasping freight rate trends in 2024. At the same time, flexibly adjusting logistics strategies and finding more efficient supply chain solutions are also important measures to enhance competitiveness and reduce costs.

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