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Combined transport tested on the route Russia–Germany via Latvia

A pilot project of the Latvian Logistics Association (LLA) took place in August as a part of the COMBINE Project. The pilot was carried out by sending a semi-trailer on a specialized railway platform from Moscow to Liepaja (Latvia) where it was put on a ferry and delivered to Travemunde (Germany).

Logistics companies DB Schenker Russia, Logoper, LDz Logistics, ferry operator Stena Line, and PFKO (the First Federal Contrailer Operator) as the owner of rolling stock were involved among others. Data (tariffs, border crossing issues, etc.) of the pilot project will be analyzed to suggest necessary changes in Latvian legislation in order to make combined transport feasible.

During the trial delivery of the contrailer wagon in Liepaja on August 3, 2020, Mr. Normunds Krumins, CEO of LLA, said that combining different types of transport allows carrying cargoes that are impossible or not profitable in case only rail or only road transport is used. Lack of appropriate rolling stock has been one of the main reasons why railway operators have not been offering contrailer services in Latvia, as well as in all the wide gauge (1520 mm) railway system (CIS and Baltic states). Now, however, the solution does not require any specialized infrastructure, just a reach stacker to lift the semitrailer by an adjusted metal frame (basket).

Cleaner air, more safety on roads, solving the problem of the lack of drivers in Europe and just in time delivery  were some of the gains of contrailer services mentioned by Mr. Aivars Tauriņš, CEO at DB Schenker Russia.

For Mr. Oskars Osis, Freight Commercial Manager Stena Line (Baltic, Russia and CIS countries), the test run was a cornerstone of future freight services with a big added value.

Mr. Andris Ivanovs, Director at Terrabalt which provides terminal services for ferries, assured that his company is ready for contrailer services.

Mr. Janis Vilnitis, Mayor of Liepaja was hopeful that the new product will allow the port to develop further and bring additional cargo.

Mr. Maris Kleinbergs, CEO at Latvijas dzelzcels (Latvian Railways) expressed his interest in contrailer transportation not only between Russia and Latvia, but also inside the country and between Baltic countries.

Further information:

Egons Mudulis, egons.mudulis@gmail.com