LTG Cargo, the freight transport company of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (LTG), has launched a freight train test from Kaunas Intermodal Terminal to Ukraine via Poland.
LTG Cargo said that the container train, dispatched at the end of April, can reach its destination within a couple of days and is to return to Lithuania with around 50 containers of freight.
This is the first time in LTG’s history that freight from Ukraine will reach Lithuania by rail bypassing Belarus.
Due to the outbreak of the Russian war in Ukraine has disrupted traditional logistics chains, which are crucial for the region, this freight train test is expected to contribute to the restoration of part of them via an alternative route through Poland.
The pilot train assessed the technological aspects of the new route, the timing of freight transport, potential logistics challenges and solutions. This route will only be implemented on the narrow gauge, which runs from the Kaunas Intermodal Terminal through Poland to a terminal on the Ukrainian border. This means that if the project proves to be a success, some freight can be transported to Kaunas without having to change the gauge or reload it. LTG Cargo is in constant contact with its Ukrainian colleagues, as well as with Ukrainian Railways and potential customers in Ukraine.
“We continue to look for new areas of diversification and ways to help our customers move freight. The intermodal freight terminal in Kaunas, which was connected to the European rail track less than a year ago, and the strategic decision to set up a company in Poland as early as 2020, have given us the opportunity to look for unconventional freight transport models and efficient ways to adapt to the changed situation,” Egle Šimė, Chief Executive Officer of LTG Cargo said.
LTG Cargo will transport freight on the new route in Lithuania and its subsidiary LTG Cargo Polska will transport freight from the Ukraine-Poland border. The train is expected to return to KIT loaded with around 1,000 tonnes of various products. From KIT, freight can be efficiently distributed throughout Lithuania and the entire Baltic region.
In mid-April, LTG Group, after assessing the impact of the Russian war against Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Belarus and Russia, launched a plan to adapt to the changed business environment and to help its clients to do so. It includes three main focus areas covering the improvement of the operational efficiency, cost reduction, as well as diversification and expansion into new markets, especially in Western Europe.