Landlocked countries mostly rely on train as one of the cheapest freight services to convey goods from one parts of the country to another. However, the growth in technology also made it possible for trains to connect the world. The main reason why train is mostly the preferred choice of freight service is because they are cost effective. They offer landlocked countries the benefits they don’t get from ship.
Trains have comparable advantage over trucks when it comes to freight services. This is because they can move considerably larger freight than trucks. Trains experience lower friction and resistance which also makes them faster and more durable compare to trucks. In the long run, train freight also has a cheaper cost of maintenance. This also means big long-term revenue for train freight operators.
One YouTube channel that talks a lot about how freight trains are connecting the world and disrupting the freight industry is ‘Wendover Production’. In the video, the narrator highlights the advantages of train freight over the main contender, truck freight. The video narrator said
“The smooth steel wheels run over smooth steel tracks. In addition, since a train is one long line there is much less wind resistance per ton than a truck.”
Source: Interesting Engineering
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Development Of Rail Freight Across The World
Two railway stations Chengdu International Services Co and CFL Multimodal, RTSB have come together to launch a rail service between Chengdu International Railway Port in China and Bettembourg-Dudelange in Luxembourg. The first train freight of the new services departed from Grand Duchy on the 4th of April carrying containers and is expected to reach Chengdu on the 19th of April. The companies have scheduled a weekly service by mid-2019 which will be accompanied with road and rail door-to-door connections.
National railways representatives from five countries—China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran came together on the 4th of April to discuss the possibility of developing a transit freight traffic. The First Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan’s KTZ, Kanat Almagambetov hinted that developing a favorite tariff for movement of goods from China was paramount.
One of the key qualities of a good freight service is timely delivery and Almagambetov did not fail to emphasize this. Developing a good train freight service will not only help to increase the delivery time but will also have a positive impact on the economies of these nations.
New Rail Freight Deals Across The Globe
Different countries across the globe have started recognizing the importance of rail freight services. To that effect, they are working closely with neighboring countries or different states within the same nation to create a network of rail freight. Consequently, a good number of rail freight deals are emerging. One of such deals was recently signed by the GB Railfreight.
According to the new contract which will now run tile December 2021, the GB Railfreight will operate its trains to Robertsbridge’s British Gypsum form Southampton. The new deal will also see the expansion of Robertsbridge terminal services. There is also a proposed additional service to East Leake’s British Gypsum from AV Dawson in Teeside. On the average, the rail freight company will provide ten services per week.
Another important rail freight services deal that took place recently involves Kars-Tbilisi railway. The details of the new contract is sketchy. However, it hints that Socar, Azerbaijan’s state oil company is making plans to begin the exportation of fertilizer to turkey from a new plant using Kars-Tbilisi railway. When this deal comes to effect, it is expected to reshape the economy of both countries as well as provide timely fertilizer supplies to Turkish farmers at a cheaper rate.
Future Rail Freight Services
Majority of the train freight deals connecting different countries has its focus on consumables and electronics. However, the oil sector which makes up a major part of the economy of different countries around the world is yet to tap into train freight for the distribution of product. Train freight operators need to start to think in this direction. PKP Cargo has taken the lead with the signing of letter of intent (LOI) with Orlen Paliwa, a fuel company for the distribution of diesel. In the next decade, significant train freight providers are expected to follow this lead.