Acer floods Europe with notebooks by rail -

With marine shipments taking a dive, Acer is rumoured to be trialling railway shipments to get its notebooks into the European market, fast. 

According to IDC, Acer's total notebook sales have taken a real knocking, as HP uses its market savvy to take the top spot. Asustek, meanwhile, took the number one spot from Acer in the East European market. 

Taiwan Economic News puts the lag down to the sacking of former CEO Lanci, who left over strategic differences. Lanci was keen to work in the channel, and with his expertise out the door, there was a 47 percent drop in the West European market for the last quarter. 

Its answer is rumoured to be an 11,000 kilometre rail expedition, starting from Chongqing, to Xi'an, Langzhou and Urumqi in China, then onto Kazakstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and finally to Duisburg in Germany. The Acer Express could deliver the rumoured 40 containers in as little as 18 days compared to about 30 for marine shipments from China into Eastern Europe. Chongqing will boost shipments by up to 55 percent by the year's end, so Acer must want a route into the US, and fast. 

At the moment, Digitimes reports, Acer plans one trip a week or a fortnight. It'll cost more than marine shipments because a train can manage less containers. Eventually, according to Digitimes' sources, the shipment will reach one trip per day before slowing to once every 13 days.

There will be some kinks Acer needs to straighten out. Humidity and temperature will change rapidly as the train rolls through different regions, so it needs to make sure the notebooks don't pack in before Duisburg, where some descendant of Charlie Wilson might be planning the Great Aspire Robbery of 2011.