Multimodal freight transport continued to grow
Last year, Operail brought a record number of containers from the road to the railway and increased the volume of multimodal freight services by almost 50%.
“It can be seen that more and more manufacturers are thinking about the environment and choosing environmentally friendly rail transport as a mode of transport. I am happy to see this trend and we encourage other manufacturers to make more environmentally friendly decisions as well,” said Raul Toomsalu, Chairman of the Management Board of Operail. While the transport sector as a whole accounts for 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, rail transport accounts for only 0.4% and road transport for 72%.
In 2021 Operail managed to replace 16,000 truck journeys with rail transportation and increased multimodal freight volume by 47% over the year, reaching 190,000 tonnes. During the year, Operail’s trains travelled almost 83,000 kilometres to transport the goods. With the same number of containers, trucks would have had to cover almost three million kilometres on the main roads of our country.
“The freight volume could have been even higher, but unfortunately the summer temperatures were too high for the growing grain, and therefore the yield was lower than expected,” said Sanda Benbik-Voitovich, the head of multimodal transport at Operail. “Nevertheless, we were able to increase the volumes and we also managed to bring new product groups to the railway – for example, ready-made furniture.” Almost 65,000 tonnes of gravel, 45,000 tonnes of peat, and 38,000 tonnes of sawn timber were transported via rail.
Last year, Operail introduced a new information system that made the provision of multimodal freight services even more efficient. In addition, the service portfolio was expanded – both existing and new customers are now offered reloading and container storage services in addition to freight transport. “The new services were very well received in the market and we see that the demand is high. In order to satisfy the demand, we will invest in the expansion of the Tartu container terminal in 2022, so that we can further increase the freight volume and offer additional services to customers,” said Benbik-Voitovich.