State railway company EVR Cargo has ordered 500 container flatcars and open freight wagons from producers in Russia. 115 of the flatcars are currently standing at Koidula and Valga on the southern and south-eastern border, waiting to be added to the according state register.
Among the rolling stock ordered there are 300 container flatcars, 115 of which have already been delivered. Getting them from the manufacturers in Russia to the Estonian border takes time, as only 31 cars can be moved at once, longer combinations of such cars aren’t allowed, daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Wednesday.
At this point EVR Cargo has invested €17.5 million, which is half of the total amount their Russian project will eventually cost. The business idea is to use an opening in the Russian railway market: After a Russian government order disposed of some 200,000 old freight cars, there is a shortage, and leasing rates are expected to keep increasing for a while.
EVR Cargo is planning to buy several hundred freight cars and lease them to companies active in the Russian transit sector.
As CEO Raul Toomsalu confirmed to the paper, the container flatcars won’t remain in Koidula and Valga for long: As soon as they’re registered in Estonia, they will be rented to two Chinese companies moving goods from Asia to Europe through Russia.
The necessary contracts had been signed with EU-registered subsidiaries of the Chinese businesses, both of which had already more than 20,000 freight cars in use, Toomsalu said.
He added that EVR Cargo was expecting to gain €7.3 million in revenue from the contracts over the next three years, and that another contract worth some €1.8 million would be signed soon.
Editor: Dario Cavegn