"China's Yong Sheng is an unremarkable ship that is about to make history. It is the first container-transporting vessel to sail to Europe from China through the Arctic rather than taking the usual southerly route through the Suez Canal, shaving two weeks off the regular travel time in the process. The 19,000-ton Yong Sheng, operated by China's state-controlled Cosco Group, left the port of Dalian Aug. 8 and is scheduled to reach Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, via the Bering Strait Sept. 11. The travel time of about 35 days compares with the average of 48 days it would normally take to journey through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea."Of course, things get even more interesting when you throw in the prospects of trans-Siberian railway links...
"So which routes have been tested? [...]
The freight lead times are very good in comparison to sea freight where the usual shipping time can be 36 days or more depending on the end location in Europe. The scale of the railway is immense as it crosses 11 time zones and more than 11,000 km."
- Shanghai China to Duisburg Germany (18 Days)
- Chongqing to Duisburg (16 Days)
- Xiangtang, China, to Hamburg (17 Days)