The transport industry undergoes comprehensive changes worldwide with new hi-tech solutions and new cargo and passenger mobility flows. It is also a big challenge to the transport industry in Latvia, and it shall be flexible to it. Mr Edvīns Bērziņš, the president of VAS “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (LDz), presenting today the future outlook of the company, stressed that the key focus during the coming ten and more years will be on the development of logistics and technology solutions, including wider introduction of smart technologies and their integration into business operations.
Looking at a broader perspective, LDz sees Latvia as the transport and logistics excellence centre of the Baltic States and Northern Europe; and with the involvement of all industry stakeholders, it may provide a higher contribution to the economy of Latvia.
„In our view, during the next years the key changes shaping the future of Latvia will be experienced in the transport and logistics industry. It is the development of new infrastructure and the operations of merging transport sub-industries, like railway, port, logistics companies, and the way we will integrate and create new technologies by ourselves to help boost efficiency in our business operations and provide services the clients will need in future. Neither in terms of technologies, nor in terms of geography, nothing is out of our reach, of that I am sure,“ tells E.Bērziņš.
To turn this into reality, LDz has established ten task force groups involving experts from various LDz holding units and companies to work on new technology, services, international business development, sustainable transport, engineering and logistics education, industry competence and science centre establishment, security solutions and solutions of other segments.
Several task force groups have already elaborated particular projects and activities, such as – the task force group of competence and science centre works on the development of an internationally competitive new railway technology test polygon, and recently it participated with success in the X-industries hackathon organised by IT cluster, and two ideas on the development of IT solutions for cargo management system app and security solution on railway crossings were selected for further development.
The Smart Railway task force works on digitalisation of internal processes and development of new solutions; the Security SmartObject group develops a solution for an optimal use of IT technologies initially in the monitoring of railway stations, but later – also for the monitoring of other objects; the Education Excellence group focusses on logistics education in Latvia and a broad region.
Along with new projects and areas of operation, LDz continues working at the development of conventional transport technologies. However, also in this area innovative solutions by ways of recent solutions and opportunities offered by other sectors, such as 3D printer advancements or hydrogen technologies, are sought for.
Besides the future outlook, LDz presented also the now second-in-a-row sustainability report, which is elaborated based on internationally recognized GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines. This 2017 report is an overview of achievements in both the financial, and non-financial sector, including the economic impact, social aspects, and impact of environment by the company. The report is a peek into the commercial and financial figures, implementation of key projects, LDz everyday operations, and public and international activities.
It addresses also the restructuring of LDz holding in 2017/2018. Changes in the work organisation were introduced to boost the railway infrastructure maintenance efficiency and provide for permanent employment all through the year for those who previously worked on a seasonal basis.
In 2017, the LDz holding companies took pro-active part in various international events presenting the Latvian transport and logistics industry services on new markets, including in Asia. The sustainability report provides detailed information on international activities, including the participation on the international fair EXPO Astana 2017, which led to several important cooperation agreements concluded during the second half of the year.
Every year, LDz reports also its activities regarding environment protection: this is related to introduction of new technologies and methods in everyday work, and development of innovative solutions. The report addresses also the railway network electrification project and the facilitated locomotive Type 2M62UM.
The sustainability report is integrated with the annual report of VAS „Latvijas dzelzceļš” and the consolidated holding report, which depicts information about the financial figures of the company and the holding. LDz is the first logistics company in the Baltic States drafting the report based on internationally recognized GRI guidelines.
To see the complete sustainability and annual report, visit the website „parskati.ldz.lv”.
VAS “Latvijas dzelzceļš” is the manager of public use railway infrastructure and leading company of the holding “Latvijas dzelzceļš”. The holding includes six subsidiaries – AS “LatRailNet”, in charge of infrastructure fee pricing and railway infrastructure capacity distribution; SIA “LDZ CARGO”, provides for cargo shipment and international passenger transportation; infrastructure construction and maintenance company SIA “LDZ infrastruktūra”; rolling-stock repair and maintenance company SIA “LDZ ritošā sastāva serviss”; security company SIA “LDZ apsardze”, and a logistics company SIA “LDZ Loģistika”.