New Operail containers to increase multimodal freight transport volumes

Operail's new bulk containers.
Operail's new bulk containers. Source: Operail

With the help of 75 new bulk containers, Estonian state-owned railway logistics company Operail plans to more than double the volume of multimodal freight transport and transport more than 200,000 ton of goods by the end of 2020.

Compared with the previous year, the volume of Operail's multimodal freight transport has increased by more than 50 percent in the first four months of the year, according to a company press release.

"The volume of multimodal transport increased from 20,000 tons to 32,000 tons in the first four months," said Urmas Peterson, head of multimodal transport at Operail. "This shows that the need for this service is increasingly growing, and the arrival of the new bulk containers will allow us to further increase volumes. Where our multimodal freight service moved a total of almost 100,000 tons 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 tons."

In the first four months of 2020, Operail has transported almost 1,400 containers, reducing the load on Estonia's main highways by 2,800 truck journeys.

"So far, most of the goods have moved in containers belonging to shipping companies," Peterson said. "Our new containers will 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."

Currently, and with the support of the company's multimodal freight service, primarily sawn timber, wood pellets, peat, crushed stone and grain are being transported by rail.

"The new containers have open roofs, which will allow bulk cargo to be loaded with a front loader or other equipment, making the use of the containers more versatile," Peterson highlighted. "The containers can be closed with a cover, protecting the goods from wind and rain if necessary."

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

Operail has provided multimodal freight transport since the end of summer 2018. In 2019, the company transported more than 4,000 containers from Tartu to the ports of Muuga and Sillamäe, preventing more than 8,000 truck journeys via Estonia's main highways.

Operail's multimodal freight transport was named the greatest logistics achievement of 2019.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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