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Russia's attack on Ukraine is provoking a food crisis. Who will play a key role in preventing it?

Russia's attack on Ukraine is provoking a food crisis. Who will play a key role in preventing it?
photo: Laude Smart Intermodal/Russia's attack on Ukraine is provoking a food crisis. Who will play a key role in preventing it?
01 / 06 / 2022

With Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, the modern rules of life seem to have changed forever. The war in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than three months, affects not only its citizens but also the entire world. The blockade by the Russian occupiers of the seaports in the Azov and Black Seas has led to a dramatic reduction in agricultural supplies to Europe, which is much more dependent on them than it first appears.

Today, the only way to transport Ukrainian products is by rail, which, in turn, requires concerted teamwork of rail carriers, railway infrastructure managers, transhipment terminal operators, and border and customs services of the countries to create new solutions and logistics routes that would help avoid a food crisis. In this sense, Poland plays a key export role.

"The key role of logistics on the Polish-Ukrainian border is not only a question of the present but also of the future. Ukraine is of great importance for the future of the European economy. Also, the innovative one. We must do everything we can to support Ukrainian exports to customers in Europe and worldwide with a commitment comparable to that shown in helping refugees. It is important because, without Ukrainian grain, the food crisis could affect dozens of countries and hundreds of millions of people," writes Marcin Witczak, president of Laude Smart Intermodal.

Before Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, only one per cent of agricultural goods were exported by rail, but after February 24, the situation changed dramatically. The British news agency Argus Media, associated with the raw materials and energy markets, reports that from May 11 to 16, Ukraine exported about 768,300 tons of grain (for comparison, the data for April are 642,500 tons, for March only 415,900 tons).

Unfortunately, today, Poland doesn't have the technical possibilities to transport 4 or 5 million tons of grain every month, which is why a solid organization of railroad work is needed now more than ever, including border crossings and containerization of goods.

At the moment, Laude Smart Intermodal can transport and transship 1.5 million tons per month through Zamość and also operates at other border crossings. According to the company, it is the containerization of cargo that will be the solution to transport larger volumes at better speed by reducing and improving both the loading and unloading of goods.

Logistics on the Ukrainian-Polish border is the most crucial issue of today and tomorrow because Ukraine's role has always been and will remain incredibly important for European economic development. Creating new supply chains will play a key role in preventing a food crisis, supporting Ukraine in its heroic struggle against Russian aggression, and ensuring worldwide stability.

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