The Estonian rail freight operator Operail has registered a 46% increase in rail container transport, from 52,428 TEU in 2018 to 76,756 TEU in 2019.
Transformed into tonnes, the container transport increased by 110%, amounting to 636,000 tonnes, the company says. “Our multimodal transport project helped boost the significant rise in container transport, accounting for nearly half of the total growth. We brought an additional 12,000 TEU worth of goods from roads to rail compared with the previous year,” Chairman of the Board of Operail Raul Toomsalu, said.
Fertilisers and chemicals were the main commodity groups transported in containers, while multimodal services transported sawn timber, crushed stone, grains and wood pellets.
The company estimates that in 2020 the rail container transport will see another growth of 16,000 TEU, taking the total multimodal transport volume to approx. 30,000 TEU.
“Switching from road transport to container transport by rail helps improve national road safety and is also more beneficial for the environment. If you consider that one container transported by rail is the equivalent of one round trip with a truck, then it can be said that we managed to keep more than 8000 trucks off the roads in 2019,” Toomsalu explained.