Container transport by rail increased by 46% in 2019. Operail’s multimodal transport project played an important role in this.
76,756 TEU worth of goods were transported by rail in containers in 2019, amounting to a 46% increase compared with 52,428 TEU in 2018. When put in to tons, container transport increased by 110%, amounting to 636,000 tons.
“Our multimodal transport project helped boost the significant rise in container transport, accounting for nearly half of the total growth,” said Chairman of the Board of Operail Raul Toomsalu. “We brought an additional 12,000 TEU worth of goods from roads to rail compared with the previous year. In addition to our own efforts, freight customers also helped drive this growth as they are increasingly more appreciative of the environmental sustainability and road safety aspects of our service.”
The main commodity groups transported in containers were fertilisers and chemicals. In multimodal transport, sawn timber, crushed stone, grains and wood pellets were the most common commodities. “It’s good to see that multimodal transport is showing continued growth,” said Toomsalu. “We predict another 16,000 TEU worth of goods will be transported by rail in 2020, taking the total multimodal transport volume to approx. 30,000 TEU.”
Operail’s work in bringing more goods from road to rail is in line with the European Green Deal, one of the main goals of which is to direct 75% of the volume of road transport to trains and ships. “Switching from road transport to container transport by rail helps improve national road safety and is also more beneficial for the environment,” said Operail’s Chairman. “If you consider that one container transported by rail is the equivalent of one round trip with a truck, then it can be said that we managed to keep more than 8000 trucks off the roads in 2019.”