The European Union, being the world's largest economy, maintains significant trade relations with China, its primary partner in terms of goods trade. The majority of this trade traditionally takes place by sea, but a new land-based supply chain is now operational, thus redefining transportation modes between these two economic powerhouses.
The New Silk Road: overview
The New Silk Road, an ambitious project known as OBOR (One Belt One Road), was proposed to strengthen economic and trade ties between China, Europe, Africa, and Central Asia. This corridor, spanning 10,000 to 15,000 km, crosses twenty countries, using various types of trains and trucks, and has become a key route for European exporters.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from several French institutions, including ESIREIMS and METROPACK. It focused on analyzing the vibrations and horizontal stresses experienced by goods during railway transport, using SEREME measurement equipment.
The analysis revealed that railway transport on the New Silk Road is characterized by significant horizontal vibrations, particularly during the final phase of the journey before reaching Xi'an. These vibrations, often at a frequency of 76 Hz, are caused by collisions between wagons during traction or braking phases.
Case studies and experimental results
Laboratory simulations were conducted to replicate transport conditions and assess their impact on different types of goods, including bottled water pallets and pharmaceutical products. These studies help understand the challenges posed by this mode of transportation and develop suitable packaging solutions.
Implications and practical applications
The results of this study are crucial for the development of packaging resistant to the rigorous conditions of railway transport. They also offer insights for optimizing railway logistics on this major axis between Europe and China.
This research highlights the logistical challenges and opportunities offered by the New Silk Road for trade between Europe and China. It underscores the importance of understanding and adapting transportation and packaging methods to ensure efficient and secure delivery of goods on this vital economic corridor.