Can intercontinental rail transport withstand the demands of the global market and establish itself as an efficient means of transportation in global supply chains? Scientists at TU Dresden present a way to reassess the quality of international rail transportation.

The current conflicts in the Red Sea is causing uncertainty and delays in international maritime supply chains. The maritime route through the Suez Canal has repeatedly been the target of attacks, which is why cargo ships are being diverted and transportation costs are exploding. In the search for a secure alternative, Eurasian rail transport is now coming into focus and has been enjoying increasing demand ever since.

In their article "Service quality assessment of international rail transport with multiple border crossings: Eurasian rail transport as an example", Jing Shan and Nikola Bešinović from the Chair of Railway Systems Operation, together with Jörn Schönberger from the Chair of Transport Management and Logistics, look at the service quality of Eurasian rail freight transport and whether it can handle the growing demands of international trade.

The article presents the need for new, standardized performance indicators that can be used to evaluate and improve the quality and performance of intercontinental rail transport. The previous indicators focused on the efficiency of the networks, which no longer meets today's requirements of international world trade. Furthermore, the challenges of international rail freight transport with regard to many border crossings are discussed, which also have an important influence on the transport route due to changing geopolitical conditions.

The paper provides a framework for evaluating intercontinental rail transportation using new metrics and comparing global networks. It is intended to help transport companies improve the quality of their services and integrate Eurasian rail freight not only as an alternative, but as an integral and sustainable part of international supply chains. Due to its practical application, the paper is of great importance in the fields of politics, business and science and broadens the view of the possibilities of intercontinental supply chains by rail.

You can download the PDF version of the paper here.

Scientists involved

Jing Shan - Chair of Railway Systems Operation

Prof. Dr. Nikola Bešinović - Chair ofthe Operation of Railway Systems

Prof. Dr. Jörn Schönberger - Chair of Transport Management and Logistics


Jing Shan M.Sc.

Chair for Operation of Railway Systems