Container Shipments by the Latvian Railway | Latvijas dzelzceļš

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Container Shipments by the Latvian Railway

Wednesday, 9 January, 2008

The share of the containers transported by the SJSC Latvijas Dzelzcels (LDZ, Latvian Railway) among the total goods by LDZ is so far relatively small, but this share is continuously increasing; - there were 19,605 TEU (Twenty foot equivalent units) in 2003, 23,484 TEU – in 2004, 25,199 TEU in 2005 and 32,622 TEU conveyed in 2006. 

The beginnings of container shipments are to be found more than 70 years ago in the US. Containers as a valuable freight carriage mode have gained popularity first of all for the reason that in the conveyance process from one mode to another the containers are being reloaded and not the goods within them. Today, with universal and specialised containers using the sea, road and railway transportation not only valuable piece goods but also liquid balk cargo and foodstuffs are being shipped. The Latvian Railway performs conveyances by universal as well as with specialized containers for transportation of chemical and liquid cargo as well as by refrigerator containers for transit carriages of frozen foodstuffs. 

The container shipments performed by the Latvian Railway one can relatively divide into two parts – the regular transports on the route from Riga to Kazakhstan by the specialized container train Baltika-tranzit as well as other container shipments by non-specialized freight train units.

If one looks from the potential freight flows’ viewpoint, so it is a topical matter in the railway transit carriage market developing carriages into North-South transport corridor directions which include Kasakhstan as well. 

A successful development of these corridors would provide in the future an opportunity of attracting freight flows from China’s northern and western provinces which after that via a specialized container train route would come to the Baltic countries’ ports for further transportation to European and other countries. 

The SJSC Latvijas Dzelzcels continues offering since May 2003 freight shipments to Kazakhstan using the opportunities of the regularly running specialized container train Baltika-tranzit. 

Container train unit consists of up to 50 container flat wagons with containers. The Kazakh and Latvian railways ensure the necessary service of the trains en route. 

The increase of container transport volume allows the railway to look optimistic ahead. This year, the Latvian Railway plans to acquire 100 prolonged container flat wagons in order to more operatively satisfy the customer needs. It is foreseen that each of these wagons may transport 4 TEU containers.

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