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World rail freight news round-up

15 Jul 2019

China Railway Container Transport Co and ČD Cargo signed a memorandum on strategic co-operation on July 11. The Czech company said China Railway had expressed a serious interest in establishing a business relationship, with a freight service from China to the Czech Republic to be launched in the near future. CRCT also plans to use ČD Cargo's warehouses in Lovosice.

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €70m programme to encourage the shift of freight from road to rail in the Netherlands in 2019-23. All operators that have an access agreement with ProRail are eligible for a contribution to the cost of track access charges, which they must pass on through lower prices to shippers.

UTLC ERA carried 9 970 TEU of transit freight through the Kaliningrad region of Russia last year, including 6 300 TEU from Europe to China and 3 670 TEU from China to Europe. Over the first six months of this year overall transit through the region reached 6 096 TEU, and the company expects its further growth. 'We have opened a new corridor in the Kaliningrad region where there are two ports which we can use to bypass railway bottlenecks at the boundary between 1 520 mm and EU gauges and deliver containers by short sea to major European ports: Hamburg, Rostock, and those in Nordic countries', said UTLC ERA President Alexey Grom on July 3.

P&O Ferrymasters has expanded its intermodal network to include six rail services per week from Budapest to Duisburg and Rotterdam, with a short sea connection for the UK. The transit time between Budapest and British ports is either three or four days, depending on the destination.

The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations made under the Canada Transportation Act (Rail Transport) have been finalised, prescribing filing requirements so that the Canadian Transportation Agency can validate that operators are carrying appropriate minimum third party liability insurance coverage, and amending the Railway Interswitching Regulations to ensure consistency with the recently amended interswitching provisions of the Canada Transportation Act. ‘CTA is committed to modernising the rail transportation regulations that it administers’, said CTA  Chair & CEO Scott Streiner ‘These amendments enhance our regulatory activities and provide added operational precautions for the industry we oversee.’

UTLC ERA and Lanzhou Anting PIL Logistics are to co-operate to develop China – Europe – China container traffic. UTLC ERA would be responsible for the 1 520 mm gauge rail transport, while Lanzhou Anting PIL Logistics would work to attract Chinese customers.