There is an interesting development in the delivery of parcels, which is using some of the older methods of transport. The train has been replaced by the plane or ship as the method of transport for many years now in places which involves longer distances but recently a train service which carries freight was introduced to travel from China to Poland and is being used for parcel deliveries to Russia and other places. Unfortunately the Russian hub is not considered reliable enough at present for a direct route to Moscow.
The introduction of this route sparks the notion that this transport is carried out to deliver parcels which would normally go by ship and take 6 to 12 weeks to go by train and take 2 weeks only and is a good half way house between the slowness of ship travel and the expense of air travel. This method of transport will obviously help the large oversized parcel trade as the speed of delivery is relatively short but the cost is competitive with shipping and obviously cheaper than air travel. It would seem that this type of travel will increase significantly as the speed of train travel increases across the world with the introduction of high speed train lines. At the moment the train line from Hong Kong to Beijing via Shanghai is well under way and will be finished in the next 2 years and will cover some 1500 miles at a speed in excess of 300 mph and there are many other routes planned. It seems obvious that most continental countries will improve their train lines to deal with growing East to West trade.
Certainly Europe and Asia will improve but it remains a question as to whether the USA and Canada will want the expense of such a system. The large parcel delivery has progressed excellently during the past few years without the train and a good courier will ship parcels with a standard weight up to 500 kg to most countries in the world and the prices are excellent value for the weight carried. This system is in such demand that the parcel can be booked and all paperwork completed via the Internet. The speed and flexibility of such an operation opens up a whole new world of trade, so that the part load which was previously priced out of the market now becomes a realistic option.