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ÖBB RCG keeps helping Ukraine: How's the company increasing its share in the Ukrainian export-import rail freight transport?

ÖBB RCG keeps helping Ukraine: How's the company increasing its share in the Ukrainian export-import rail freight transport?
photo: ÖBB Rail Cargo Group/ÖBB RCG keeps helping Ukraine: How's the company increasing its share in the Ukrainian export-import rail freight transport?
05 / 09 / 2022

ÖBB Rail Cargo Group is ready to increase further its share in the Ukrainian export-import rail freight transport, as it has been agreed during the negotiations conducted on August 26 between the management of the Ukrainian State Railway Company, Ukrzaliznytsia, the subsidiary of UZ in Lemberg, the management of the subsidiary of UZ CTL and the management of RCG, represented by Imre Kovács, member of the Board of Directors of ÖBB RCG and the Chairman of Board of Directors of RCH and Norbert Körös, member of the Board of Directors and CEO of RCH.

In the meeting, the Parties agreed to intensify further their cooperation, to take measures to accelerate the forwarding of Ukrainian goods and to set up a permanent bilateral working group to increase the transport of goods. Inter alia, they discussed extending the already existing cooperation agreement on the data exchange and migrating the planning system for transport volumes to a single electronic platform. These measures will facilitate a scheduled transfer of goods in transit, enabling adjustment of the volume to the current free reloading capacities and utilizing border crossing points more efficiently.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it has been a priority for the RCG to facilitate the forwarding of Ukrainian goods to the destinations required. Thanks to the presence of the Rail Cargo Group at all EU railway BCPs it can ensure that Ukrainian goods, as well as grain, reach the envisaged destinations in Hungary, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Since the beginning of March 2022, the Group has transported 430,000 tons of grain from Ukraine via the Hungarian, Slovakian and Polish border crossing points by utilizing a major part of its grain wagon fleet and ensuring the necessary rail freight capacity for the transport of consignments. Since the beginning of this year, RCH has accepted almost 390 thousand tons of grain via Eperjeske and Záhony.

As far as shipments from Ukraine are concerned, 1.9 million tons of goods crossed the border in the first 7 months of 2022, of which 1.7 million tons were transported by rail. The Záhony region was originally designed to handle conventional bulk goods and this service is still dominating. 70% of goods crossing the border are iron ore. In addition to energy carriers like coal or coke, incoming transport of salt, cement and fertilizers is dominant among litter products. This year the main product groups are cereals and vegetable oil. So far, over 200 thousand tons of maize have already arrived.

Rail Cargo Group is continuously developing innovative technological and alternative transport solutions in order to increase the efficiency and volume of its rail freight forwarding capacity.

Rail Cargo Logistics - Hungaria is optimizing the transport of grain products by applying new technology, that enables the delivery of a larger volume of goods from Ukraine to their markets in a shorter period of time. Grain is being loaded into standard containers in Ukraine and transported to a silo in Nyírbátor, Hungary, by standard gauge wagons. Thanks to this solution, reloading of wide-gauge grain wagons have become redundant and in the near future, several tens of thousand of tons of grain can be transported.
Since Ukrainian wide-gauge wagons are not suitable for the European standard gauge traffic, RCH is reutilizing the technology of reassembling the axles of its wagons in order to speed up the traffic.

Moreover, since rail freight transport of Ukrainian containers from the blocked Black Sea harbours is not possible, Rail Cargo Operator - Hungaria (RCO-HU) decided to use a previously non-used route to deliver Ukrainian containers to the Adriatic ports. Since April, 1,350 thousand unit containers (TEU) in total have been transported by trains operated by the company from Eperjeske to Koper via Rail Cargo Terminal - BILK and the Budapest Free Port and additional 120 unit containers were transported to the port of Trieste. From these ports, Ukrainian goods are being transported by cargo ships to various oversea destinations. The company's trains also return empty containers to Ukraine. Most recently, in the organization of RCO-HU, the company has also started transporting containers from the Far East to Ukraine, facilitating in this way the carriage of goods that are essential for the Ukrainian economy from the Adriatic ports to Ukrainian industrial areas.

In addition to a smooth serving of increased transport needs, ÖBB and Rail Cargo Group are also striving to provide assistance to Ukrainian citizens in need. So far, ÖBB provides transportation of refugees free of charge and Rail Cargo Group has forwarded relief consignments to Ukraine free of charge transporting donations that arrived in Záhony by trucks to Csop in the first half of 2022. At the end of August, the company delivered also personal protective equipment – boots, helmets, visibility vests and gloves – for Ukrainian railway workers, and a package of technical equipment, utility items and textiles for the Catholic Charity Organization of Transcarpathia.

Delegations of RCG and the railway company UZ praised the experience gained through the cooperation and agreed to exploit jointly the opportunities identified in the meeting.

 

Source: ÖBB Rail Cargo Group Press Releases

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