I don't know about the effects of ''climatic variation'' but the shaking in almost 7,000 miles of rail journey is going to test many a PC to destruction.
PC vendors may be finally bowing to pressure to build more flexibility into the supply chain amid reports that Acer is to start shipping PCs by train. Forty carriers are already en route to Europe. Disties have been calling for alternative transportation techniques following the growing mountain of notebooks in the region …
This isn't much different than the situation you must have now. Electronics have to get off the boat sometime. Chances are that they are unloaded on the coast and take the rest of their journey by rail or by truck.
Certainly they've solved this problem by now as there are plenty of stores that aren't near the ocean.
I'm surprised that the Chinese don't have a direct rail link to Kazakhstan (or do they?) to cut out Russia altogether. I'm sure some of that 'security' aspect will be linked to the Russians.
I think that rail is a great idea though, it helps decrease supply times and will become cheaper with bigger orders. In the future if North Korea sorts itself out and the Koreans and Japanese build a bridge they've been talking about you could get train journeys from Tokyo to Berlin.
There is a rail route through Kazakhstan, but it still has to run through Russia in the North Caucasus to Ukraine. There is no route through Iran to Turkey.
I wouldn't worry about vibration or shock on modern rolling stock, not much of an issue, but banditry, yup. I'm not sure why they are worried about climate either, insulated containers exist, which could keep the contents at a relatively constant temperature and humidity for a reasonable time period. The Siberian winter is harsh, but no worse than CP or CN have to cope with on the Canadian Praries, or the run to Churchill.
The Eco answer would be sailing ships though.
You're mistaken. Most of the "Russian Mafia" is actually Ukrainian.
If you look at the history of Russia, originally ,their capital was Kiev (look up Kieven Rus). Then the Mongols invaded. During the period of the Mongol Yoke, many of the Rus' fled northward, into what is now Russia -- primarily those who objected to the corrupt ways of the Mongols. Those who were ok with the corruption and outright crime stayed in Ukraine. This is the source of the enduring antipathy that the Russians have towards the Ukrainians.
And I say this as someone whose great grandparents left Ukraine for the U.S. in the first decade of the 1900's.
... because the Ukrainians are eastern Europes land-pirates.
A Japanese TV company I worked for in the late 70's tried this over the trans-Siberian. The results at that time were poor:
In winter glued labels and badges would peel or fall off.
Vibration was not a problem, but loose-shunting caused the packing of incompletely filled containers to disintegrate and the goods move and become damaged. The g-forces our sensors recorded were impressive!
On a couple of occasions we were informed by Customs of seal tampering. Upon inspection, many boxes were filled with house bricks to the weight of a TV.
What the thieves did with UK PAL standard TV's in the SECAM standard USSR, we never found out.
The track in Russia is a different guage (wider) so they have to change the wheel sets on carriages. Not sure if they will lift the containers off one flat wagon and onto another or change the bogies. Either way it is a pain in the neck. I know, because I travelled by train from Warsaw to Minsk in Belarus when a flight failed.
Australia's Indian Pacific traverses a comparable distance in 3, across some of the most hostile terrain on the planet. That must be some really shitty railway infrastructure forcing trains to crawl at 5 miles an hour most of the way if it takes that long to get there!
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