Friday, February 7, 2014

Russian Multimodal Freight Groups 'Snowed Under' with Sochi Logistics

By Road, Rail and Air - Traffic Builds Up at Winter Olympics
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA – The logistics involved in the Sochi Winter Games are coming to a head this week and two major players involved are at different stages of involvement, whilst the Volga Dnepr airline group has now completed its role in helping the event get off to a flying start by delivering over 1,800 tons of air cargo to the Russian city over the last 12 months, RZD Logistics, a separate subdivision of Russian Railways, has been working 24/7 in order to provide multimodal customer services at Veseloe terminal station of North-Caucasus Railway due to limited traffic in the region.

The RZDL team in Sochi is charged with providing uninterrupted operation of the covered warehouse and open terminal sites including services like container, oversize and food cargo receiving and onward forwarding to the Olympic sites. Currently cargo is mainly transported by rail at nights due to the limited road traffic during the day time. The company has plans to use 200 multi-tonnage containers and over 20 trucks whilst over 300 multi-tonnage containers and over 100 covered wagons have been handled since RZDL started operations as an Olympic consignee, in a joint venture for receiving and handling cargo at the Sochinskiy Olympic terminal yard and offering warehousing and services in the covered warehouse area of over 5,000 square metres. The cargo is transported to terminals by rail and thence to the Olympic sites by truck.

For its part Volga Dnepr says that its customers took advantage of the Group’s ‘cargo supermarket’ service offering, combining the most suitable and cost efficient aircraft and logistics solutions for each delivery, using either Volga-Dnepr Group’s air charter or scheduled cargo services. By the beginning of 2014, Volga Dnepr Group had performed over 30 charter flights to Sochi including not only the Olympic flame but consignments such as the 63 tonne ice rink which featured in Sochi’s final bid presentation. Dennis Gliznoutsa, Vice-President, Development at Volga Dnepr Airlines, commented:

“Transportation of this unique equipment, which contributed to the success of Sochi’s bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, will go down in Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ history. We are proud to be part of Sochi’s success and to the on-time delivery of the 2014 Games.”

AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) is a Volga Dnepr subsidiary and the only Russian-appointed air cargo carrier on the Europe-to-Sochi route and Executive President, Denis Ilin, explained why he thought his company’s contribution to the Games preparation had proved so valuable, saying:

“Usually the majority of freight shipments for Sochi are transported to Moscow and then trucked to Sochi but this involves long transit times. In the case of a major global event like the Olympic Games, no such delays are acceptable. Customers want the speed and reliability only air cargo can provide. Volga-Dnepr Group’s cargo delivery programme to Sochi highlighted the value of our ‘cargo supermarket’ transport and logistics capability as well as our expertise in the Russian market.”

Photo: The RZDL operation in full swing with the Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop.