Hamburg / Düsseldorf. The media are reporting on the current attacks in the Red Sea, and also on the fact that most shipping companies are avoiding the danger zone and routing their container ships from or to China via the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. This means significantly longer transit times and, especially for imports from China, drastically higher prices. We asked Dirk Bukowski, Director Sales, how the customers of the German M&M air sea cargo GmbH are dealing with the situation.

“We keep our customers constantly informed about the latest developments, and of course this is a point of discussion with our customers,” is the answer. “However, as all shipping companies are following suit, there is nothing we can do about it. The other issue is the longer delivery times. We are noticing that the order rhythms are shifting: Those who would otherwise have ordered at the end of February are already ordering today.” However, there is concrete help with regard to the long delivery time until the container can be unloaded thanks to the rail freight service to and from China.

We spoke to Michael Spitzlei, Düsseldorf, about this. “There have already been inquiries and initial bookings,” says the Head of Rail. In terms of time, rail transport definitely offers a considerable advantage: “Sea freight from China to Germany usually takes six weeks; now, with the new detour, the container takes eight weeks. Rail freight, for example Hamburg – Shanghai, takes 28 to 30 days. Rail freight is therefore normally ten days faster on average.”

We also ask what the prices are like.  “Rail is still more expensive than sea, even with the new sea freight rates. The Chinese railroads have quickly caught up. Switching to rail pays off for customers who are interested in shorter delivery times.”

We are always available to answer any questions you may have. In addition to your known local M&M contacts, our specialised departments can be reached as follows:

Sea Freight Hamburg: Phone +49 40 236111 61, e-mail:
Team Rail: Phone +49 211 437 186 12, e-mail:

Recommended Posts