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25th January 2017
Eurasia has two third of world population and represents two third of the world economy. For sure, this proportion will increase in the next years and the Eurasian continent will face the need to massively invest in new infrastructures running from one side of the territory to the other.
The new Chinese high speed rail system is already part of this program, reducing the lead time to west bound from months to days, challenging the Shipping transport leadership. Today, the Silk Road is moving from Chongqing (Approx. 32mln of population) to Duisburg (Germany) crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Byelorussia and Poland.
Russian and Chinese government are investing billions to drasically improve the current rail set up.
According to the Parag Khanna new book “Connectography” during 2015 the Silk Road moved around 2500 cntrs while it has been forecasted 7.5 mln of cntrs within 2020.
I made some calculation: 7.5 mln of cntrs means 20.547 cntrs per day!
What will be the capacity to satisfy this demand? Trains will be a real threat for the shipping lines?
So far, the Silk Road is a possible alternative to SEA AIR and Airfreight while the cost difference between sea freight (especially in these days) and the container rail is circa 8 times the cost.
The Parag Khanna is positive about the numbers, considering the intervention of the Asian Investment Bank which is part of Chinese government “grand strategy”.
"This is not only a new mode of transport is a massive instrument of foreign policy" confirm Mr. Khanna in his book.