Chinese Cargo Rail: A Whole New Game Starting Today

Freight Trains

Most of us here are passengers — we do have bags but probably not the quantity that can fill up an entire carriage. Still, if you’re a rail-addicted expat moving from Beijing to Shanghai (as an example — say, better “international” food in Shanghai, perhaps?), there’s no need to overburden Beijing Airport when the rails can get you, your furniture, and your mini train models on the go as well.

There’s a whole new game to be played in the Chinese cargo rail world beginning today: Railway cargo reforms are now officially reality. The result is that it is now easier than ever for you to get your goods on the go.

You can now choose any one of the following five ways to get your goods mobile:—

  • By ringing up the cargo station;
  • By dialling the nationwide railways hotline (Tel. 12306) — press 2 for cargo services, then 1 to create a new order;
  • By using the 12306.cn national railways web site;
  • By going to the cargo station in person;
  • By ringing up the railways and getting them over your place.

Note that much of this has to be done in Chinese, so if you’re struggling with the language, get a local friend to help out.

In the end, what the railways will do is to give you a price offer. If you’re happy with that, just pay up and leave the rest to the railways. It’s as easy as that.

(A little dangerous, though, probably, to ship giraffes “just like that” — see, they have those overhead wires and nobody want to get electrocuted…!)

David Feng

David Feng — founder and publisher, Tracking China, a Street Level China website.

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