back to article Acer turns to trains for imports

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 …


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  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Vibration ?

    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.


      Boats straight to London.

      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.

    2. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

      @ shaking

      they travel by boat when the sea is calm and there are no waves, then?

  2. Christoph


    How many of those containers are going to "fall off the back of the train"?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silk Road

    I thought for a minute they were going to be opening a distrubution centre in Macclesfield......

  4. Ami Ganguli

    Go through Finland!

    Beijing to Moscow: 7 days,

    Moscow to Helsinki: 1 day

    From Helsinki you still have to get to the rest of Europe, but there are lots of boats/trains/trucks along those routes. I think anywhere in Europe can be got to within a couple of days.

  5. pompurin


    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.

    1. Is it me?

      Yes Trains

      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.

      1. A Marsh

        You can travel by rail from Iran to China and Europe

        There is a line from Russia to Iran, then west via Turkey and the rest of Europe (and south to Syria...).

        You can also go east into Pakistan and India.

    2. Aaron Kulkis

      Eh, Russia isn't nearly as much of a crime problem as Ukraine.

      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.

  6. JeffyPooh

    Cristoph nailed it...

    "Oi! Why is my brand new PC actually just a slab of shale?"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Automatic upgrade process

      Shurely if you'd ordered an Acer & you got a lump of shale you'd actually be ahead of the game?

      Alright, I'm going...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      shale forsooth


      I thought it was a slate? Steve Ballmer said they are the in thing.

  7. davenewman

    How about horses?

    Use traditional silk route caravans, with camels or horses through Kyrgyzstan.

  8. Archivist

    Tried long ago

    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.

    1. Rainer

      No worries

      They probably sold/traded it to the next gullible person.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure?

      They change bogies, according to a famous travel writer who took the trans-Siberian.

  10. Nigel 11

    Final assembly in the UK?

    I wonder whether they have ever considered the option of doing final assembly in the UK (or EU). Ship components rather than complete laptops, and then configure CPU / hard disk size / RAM / Case colour in the UK as orders are received.

    It works for cars.

  11. Alex Walsh

    when this glut of cheap Acer products due on our shores? I'm in need of a new lappy but have put off buying one until this fabled chalice of discount goodness comes our way...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chuff chuff

    toot toot!

  13. Steven Roper

    Chongqing to Berlin in 18 - 20 days!?!

    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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