Parcels and mail by high speed rail–A comparative analysis of Germany, France and China

As rail freight reform develops further, parcels transport by the high speed rail network is expanding in China. The authors explore the optimal operational method through case studies. Both France and Germany have operated parcels trains on their high speed networks, at a speed of 270 km/h and 160 km/h respectively; following the literature the authors consider both as high speed freight trains. The business model, transportation organization and performance are compared between Germany, France and China. The findings of the analysis suggest dedicated high speed freight trains are better than mixed trains at exploiting advantages of high speed railways and achieving economies of scale. However, the sensitivity analysis tells that the dedicated high speed freight train in China will require at least 5% mode share on the busiest routes like Beijing-Shanghai and Guangzhou-Shanghai and over 30% on less busy routes like Chengdu-Changsha. From German and French experience, volume guarantees seem crucial for the operation of high speed freight trains. Competitive price is also important to attract enough volume. The construction of a limited high speed rail freight network on key routes will permit exploitation of economies of scale. Also night trains are a better choice for parcels and mail delivery companies.


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  • Accession Number: 01608945
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2016 2:46PM