Guide

How to move goods by rail

Introduction

Rail can be cheaper way to transport your goods than other modes - particularly over long distances - and can offer greater reliability and time savings. Generally, exporters use rail freight services when other modes of transport are unsuitable or relatively expensive.

Rail transports over 100 million tonnes of goods worth around £30 billion every year. The rail industry's move away from state monopolies and subsidies within the European Union has opened up competition and resulted in a growing market for rail services, encouraging new rail operators to enter the marketplace.

This guide explains the rules governing the transport of goods by rail and highlights key documents you need. It also shows you how to decide if rail is the right mode of transport for you and how to assess your insurance needs.

Find out more about moving your goods in our sections on preparing goods for transport and transporting your goods.