Last week, Rinalds Pļavnieks, Chairman of the Board of SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš”, together with Transport Minister Jānis Vitenbergs met with representatives of the sector’s companies and associations to discuss potential prospects for a more active use of railway infrastructure for the transportation of domestic rail freight. Participants of the meeting appreciated existing cooperation and jointly identified opportunities for further development as well as steps that must be taken to exploit them.
During the meeting, LDz Chairman of the Board Rinalds Pļavnieks confirmed the company’s readiness for the upcoming grain season – LDz is prepared to provide the necessary number of train carriages to grain companies for the transportation of their products and optimal maneuvering operations at the grain loading sites.
During the meeting, LDz Chairman of the Board Pļavnieks underlined the need to systematically promote the use of domestic rail freight potential by balancing road user charge and track charge, developing loading points accessible to producers and stimulating domestic rail freight transport through various other means. The participants welcomed current cooperation and jointly identified opportunities for further development and the actions needed to exploit them.
Rinalds Pļavnieks, Chairman of the Board of SJSC “Latvijas dzelzceļš”: “Both the Latvian economy and society in general would benefit in the long term from shifting more freight from road to rail. As far as the impact from various means of transport on people is concerned – noise, traffic jams and accidents, harmful emissions – rail transport is undoubtedly more sustainable than any other means of land transport. At present, grain and grain products account for the largest share of domestic shipments, but there is also a significant potential for other freight of Latvian origin - timber, construction materials, various liquid cargos, and other products. In order to ensure an increasingly extensive use of railway in freight transportation, a more active balancing of rail competitiveness is needed at the national level, as direct costs and accessibility remain the most important factors for customers when choosing a carrier."
Grain and grain products make up the largest share of domestic rail freight – 51 percent of the total of 1.5 million tons of domestic freight carried in 2022 were grain and grain products. At the same time, domestic freight makes up just 7.8 percent of all freight.