For decades, trade between Europe and China has grown consistently, which has resulted in increased container transportation volumes. Such transportation has been dominated by sea-based options. However, over the years, an air-based mode of transport was developed, while it has lately become increasingly popular to use railways utilizing the Trans-Siberian land bridge. This latter approach boomed amid the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. However, the railway container boom in Eurasia has deeper roots than just the COVID-19 era. As is illustrated in this research work, international trade containers (trade between Russia and other countries, mostly China) and transit containers (e.g., serving the Chinese–EU route) were already showing some significance as early as 2003–2004. In 2020, their volume was already measured in the millions, regardless of the railway data source being used. This is well above the starting period in the 1980s and 1990s, when total annual volumes were around 0.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Container capacity has developed over the years, first being used for international trade and only lately for transit. As a preliminary comparison to air freight, the growth rate was roughly double that in the two-decade observation period.
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