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Three freight companies increase use of China-Europe rail

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Three leading freight companies have announced plans to increase their usage of rail services between China and Europe.

The growth of rail freight service between China and Europe hasn’t been entirely good news, however. As the Railway Gazette has revealed, the popularity of these services is proving harmful to rival cargo services, and in particular, air freight.

The Gazette says the air freight industry is now concerned about the railways ‘carrying volumes that can no longer be ignored.’ Currently, a third of raw materials transported between China and Europe now travel by rail.

So, with the obvious exception of cargo airlines, why should this be a problem for the rest of us?

The reason is that air freight doesn’t just travel by specialist aircraft; the majority of it is actually carried in the decks below passenger aircraft on regular flights. This cargo contributes to the overall profit or loss of a given route, so if an airline’s revenue from freight on a route is falling, passenger ticket prices will eventually have to rise.