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World rail freight news round-up

06 Feb 2017

South Africa’s Transnet is to use GE’s Predix platform to obtain real-time information on the status of shipments and migrate processes such as payment, customs and inspection from paper to digital formats. Predix ‘will be key in optimising freight efficiency and bringing products to market faster and for less cost across the continent’, according to Transnet Group CEO Siyabonga Gama.

On January 25 Medlog of Portugal operated a special service to Madrid carrying containers that had been unloaded at the port of Sines by a ship usually calling at Valencia. Comprising 29 wagons and 527 m in length, the train carrying 61 TEU was hauled by Renfe from the border at Vilar Formosa to the Abroñigal terminal in Madrid.

A pilot service using refrigerated containers to carry fruit and vegetables from Uzbekistan to Russia via Kazakhstan has been launched by KTZ Express. The journey from Samarkand to Novosibirsk took five days.

On January 26 Đuro Đaković Specijalna Vozila signed a €2·3m agreement to supply Talns wagons to a French customer between September and December 2017.

Union Pacific has acquired Railex LLC's refrigerated and cold storage distribution assets at Delano in California, Wallula in Washington and Rotterdam in New York. UP said refrigerated and third-party company Railex plays a key role in supporting its Food Network which carries fruit, vegetables and other temperature-sensitive shipments. ‘The Railex team developed a fantastic business changing how fresh food arrives on America's tables, offering food shippers fast, reliable door-to-door rail-based transportation’, said Brad Thrasher, UP’s Vice-President & General Manager Agricultural Products. ‘The integration of their highly efficient cross-dock facilities and logistics capabilities allows us to offer our customers increased access to a wider range of capacity and service solutions in a rail-centric cold chain.’

Rail Cargo Hungaria has been awarded GMP+ B.4 quality assurance certifcation for the transport of animal feed.