Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trans European Container Train Pronounced A Success

German - Russian Link is Logical Long Distance Solution
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – RUSSIA – There is, as usual, much hype and hot air about the ecological and environmental benefits of using rail freight as opposed to conventional road trucks but, as any hard bitten industry analyst will tell anyone prepared to listen, often there is no practical substance to some proposals.

Long distance haulage however is a completely different proposal. We shall need road trucks for the foreseeable future for the majority of consignments, not everyone has premises based at a railhead, but with the gradual development of intermodal terminals routes like the Duisburg to Moscow service which started last month are a logical and practical progression.

Once a week the train, operated by Trans Eurasia Logistics (TEL) GmbH, and a product of a joint venture founded in 2008 by partners Deutsche Bahn and Russian Railways (RZD) as well as Polzug, Kombiverkehr and TransContainer, heads off on its 2,200 kilometre, seven day journey. DB and RZD, both at the forefront of European rail freight transport, each have a 30 percent share in the joint venture. The train's environmental footprint is impressive with rail transport emitting around 24 grams of CO2 per metric ton-kilometre, two-thirds less than emissions from a truck transport along this route.

Speaking of the first month’s success Dr. Karl-Friedrich Rausch, Member of the Management Board of DB Mobility Logistics AG, responsible for Transportation and Logistics commented at the Global Rail Freight Conference in St. Petersburg:

"We passed the test run with flying colours, we have seen an increase in customer demand for logistics services on this route and we are the first company to offer a scheduled direct container train from central Germany to the Russian capital. Together with our partners, we are doing our utmost to convince our customers of the advantages of the new rail link through excellent quality and a high level of safety."

"Our joint venture aims to offer container transport logistics solutions between Western Europe and Russia from a single source, reinforcing rail freight transport on this important European corridor and increasing its efficiency," added Dr. Alexander Hedderich, CEO of DB Schenker Rail.

The freight transported on the first trains included electronics and chemical products. The new Muscovite link features train monitoring along the entire route, container handling at the departure and arrival terminals, pre-carriage and onward carriage service, and container provision. The combined CIM-SMGS consignment note is used for direct transport, ensuring quick customs clearance. Containers are transferred to the Russian broad gauge track in Brest, on the Polish-Belarusian border.

Photo: Container handling at Duisburg facility courtesy DB