Operail’s new containers will significantly increase the volume of multimodal freight transport

  • 2020-05-24
  • TBT Staff

With the help of 75 new bulk containers, Operail plans to more than double the volume of multimodal freight transport and to transport more than 200,000 tonnes of goods by the end of 2020.

Compared to the previous year, the volume of Operail’s multimodal freight transport has increased by more than 50% in the first four months of the year. “The volume of multimodal transport increased from 20,000 tonnes to 32,000 tonnes in the first four months. This shows that the need for this service is increasingly growing and the arrival of the new bulk containers allows us to further increase the volumes,” said Urmas Peterson, Head of Multimodal Transport at Operail. “Where our multimodal freight service moved a total of almost 100,000 tonnes of goods last year, we plan to more than double the freight volume by the end of the year and transport more than 200,000 tonnes.”

In the first four months of the year, Operail has transported almost 1,400 containers, thus reducing the load on our country’s main highways by 2,800 truck journeys. “So far, most of the goods have moved in containers belonging to shipping companies. Our new containers allow us to significantly increase the transport of bulk goods and to expand the train schedule as the freight volume increases – where currently two trains run per week, the new containers will make it possible to send out a train every day,” said Peterson.

Currently, with the support of Operail’s multimodal freight service, mainly sawn timber, wood pellets, peat, crushed stone, and grain are being transported by railways. “The new containers have open roofs, which allow bulk cargo to be loaded with a front loader or other equipment, making the use of the containers more versatile,” explained Peterson. “The containers can be closed with a cover, protecting the goods from wind and rain, if necessary.”

Initially, granite gravel will be transported in the containers that arrived to Estonia from China, followed by grain in the second half of the year. As new product groups, Operail plans to bring such bulk goods as wood pellets, ash, cement, and more to the railway.

Operail has provided multimodal freight transport from the end of the summer 2018. In 2019, the company transported more than 4,000 containers from Tartu to the harbours of Muuga and Sillamäe, thus preventing more than 8,000 truck journeys on the main highways of our country. Transporting goods by railway instead of on the roads reduces the ecological footprint of the transport sector and increases road safety. Operail’s multimodal freight transport was named the greatest logistics achievement of 2019.