TransFLEX launch (Photo RCG)

EUROPE: Austrian Federal Railways’ freight business ÖBB Rail Cargo Group has formally launched its TransFLEX product, which aims to offer flexible freight services tailored to a customer’s individual needs.

TransFLEX offers ‘uncomplicated ad-hoc or spot’ transport, as well as multimodal service including first and last mile road connections and value-added services, RCG board member Christoph Grasl said on July 4. ‘As the sustainable logistical backbone of the European economy, we are thus responding to our customers’ requests to expand our product portfolio.’

The official launch follows a pilot project in Germany which began in September 2022 with two locomotives.

RCG said this established a ‘flexible, ad-hoc solution in a volatile market’, offered alongside its TransFER network of timetabled connections.

The pilot was a ‘complete success’, expanding to 15 locomotives in 2023 when RCG operated around 2 300 TransFLEX services carrying 2·45 million tonnes totalling 1·28 million km. The block trains operate primarily within Germany, but also into Austria.

RCG said the service is particularly well suited to the chemical and oil industries, especially when speed is of the essence, but the concept may be extended to other industries.