Monday, September 21, 2020

New Rail Freight Link Opens to Offer an Environmentally Friendly Intermodal Service

Sweden Claims it Has the 'Largest Port in Norway'
Shipping News Feature

SWEDEN – NORWAY – A new weekly shuttle service has been launched by the Norwegian rail freight operator Cargonet to link the Norwegian capital of Oslo to the Port of Gothenburg, claiming to offer a 'rapid, dependable, climate-smart link' to the largest Scandinavian port.

The service will operate initially once a week in each direction and can transfer 2,000 trucks from road to rail, with a resulting reduction in carbon emissions of over 700 tonnes per year, causing Claes Sundmark, Vice President, Business Area Container, RoRo & Rail at the Gothenburg Port Authority to comment:

“Somewhat boastfully we usually say that we are the largest port in Norway thanks to the substantial flows of Norwegian import and export goods that pass through the Port of Gothenburg. This potential is set to increase even further with a highly skilled rail operator that is bringing a much sought-after solution to market.

“The demand for rail transport is continuing to grow, and a further increase will help us achieve our highly ambitious climate goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030. It is a natural progression for us to continue investing offensively in rail services in partnership with our terminals and rail operators.”

The 580-metre train arrives at the Port of Gothenburg from Oslo on Wednesday afternoon carrying Norwegian export goods for loading onto ships and onward transport to various parts of the world via the extensive Port of Gothenburg service network. That evening the train is loaded with import goods bound for the Norwegian market, reaching Oslo next morning. Erik Røhne, Cargonet chief executive described why the service was conceived:

“Our experience is that demand for an environmentally friendly transport solution between Oslo and the Port of Gothenburg has increased in recent years. With our broad range of services we can ensure effective transport to and from all the major cities in Norway and we are extremely pleased that we can now offer our customers this service all the way down to Gothenburg."

At present around 60% of container volumes to and from the Port of Gothenburg are transported by rail. This figure puts the Port of Gothenburg among the top rail freight ports in the world and investments include an expansion of the double-track Port Line system and the Arken Combi Terminal, which have already had a significant impact on reducing the number of trucks on the roads in the Gothenburg area. The new rail-sea transhipment terminal at the port, the Svea Terminal, is currently in the start-up phase.

The new Cargonet link means that reduction of 2,000 road trucks will now take traffic off the extremely busy E6 motorway between Gothenburg and Oslo Mikael Grankvist, Product Manager at Cargonet says he can see the service growing rapidly, concluding:

“We began operating tentatively last week and we have had a great response from the market. We have noticed how many are looking for dependable, climate-smart solutions and there is every opportunity to increase traffic volumes on this route in the future.”

Photo: The new rail shuttle rolled into Gothenburg on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of schedule. The terminal operator Sandahlsbolagen unloads and reloads the train at Arken Intermodal Terminal before its return to Oslo. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.