On May14th a train carrying 22 semi-trailers arrived at Sestokai terminal, a southwest district of Lithuania after a 2-day trip from Kaldenkirchen Intermodal Terminal, near the German border with the Netherlands. This was the first ever semi-trailer transport by freight train in the Baltic States.
During the pilot, semitrailers of eight international operating transport and logistics companies were delivered. Loaded on a special train wagon technology provided by CargoBeamer semi-trailers reached Sestokai by the European gauge Rail Baltica. At the terminal in Sestokai they were again connected to the trucks to drive the last mile to the final point of unloading.
“This historic pilot carriage of semi-trailers symbolizes a major turning point in the freight transportation market, where synergies between several modes of transport guarantee fast and reliable freight transportation for all participants in the logistics chain. However, the biggest achievement of such transportation is the environmental friendliness and reduction of the negative impact of heavy vehicles on the environment. We hope that the new practice will strengthen the advantages of each of the modes of transport – the economy and environmental friendliness of rail transport in long-distance transportation, and the flexibility of road transport when delivering freight door-to-door,” said Egidijus Lazauskas, CEO of LG Cargo.
„This pilot is of great importance to us as it will make it possible to test new possibilities for freight transport from Lithuania via Poland to Western Europe and in the opposite direction. This route is currently dominated by road transport and we want to change this unfavorable structure. Therefore, together with our partners, we work on preparing a competitive transport offer. This is a business project but our efforts will also have positive impact on environmental protection. Railways are more environment-friendly than road transport as they release much less harmful gases into the atmosphere and the European Union expects that member states will make efforts to gradually increase the share of railways in freight transport. In addition, trains provide safe transport of goods, compared to trucks, as the accident rate in railways is many times lower than on roads“, stated Czeslaw Warsewicz, CEO of PKP CARGO.
„CargoBeamer has been interested in a train between Lithuania and the Rhein-Ruhr region in Germany since its first visit to Kaunas ten years ago. It is an exciting opportunity, and thanks to a great cooperation with Lithuanian Railways we can see this initial vision materialize now. Lithuania is the home of several big logistics players and we see a future market for sustainable rail transportation of road trailers from central Europe into the Baltics. We look forward to grow this business together with Lithuanian Railways," said Hans-Juergen Weidemann, CEO of CargoBeamer.
The long-distance transportation of semi-trailers by rail is encouraged by the European Union (EU), as it has a lower impact on the environment and increases road safety. It is also beneficial for logistics and road transport companies, as it saves fuel and human resources. In addition, it is easier and faster to cross borders between countries, thus avoiding long downtime and possible delays at customs.
The European Commission aims to achieve that 30% of goods carried by more than 300 kilometers would be transported by rail or water transport by 2030, and by 2050 this figure should exceed 50%.