2014 m. April - May
April - May
The Project ‘Viking Train' Wins an Award
This April Stasys Gudvalis, head of the freight transportation directorate of JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways' collected a BESTFACT research programme award in Paris of the ‛Best Practice in Green Logistics and Co-Modality'. The new title adorned the container train ‘Viking Train'.
Quick freight delivery, attractive rates, particularly short border-crossing times, streamlined customs procedures, environmental friendliness and, naturally, safety, according to nomination founders, are the factors that determined the approval and success of the ‘Viking Train'.
The container train ‘Viking Train' is a joint project of the Lithuanian, Belarus, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Moldavian railways, linking the Baltic Sea with the Black Sea. The ‘Viking Train' is used for carrying all-purpose and specialized containers. The entire route from Lithuania to Ukraine (total 1734 km) may be covered within 52 hours.
In 2008, PROMIT European Coordination Action, initiated by the European Commission, recognized the ‘Viking Train' as an example of a Best Practice. In 2009, the European Intermodal Association (EIA) gave the project an award of the ‘Best Practice in the Field of Intermodal Transport'.
BESTFACT is a project funded by the European Commission. It joins together 18 European research institutes, universities, international associations and industry partners from thirteen countries. The objective of BESTFACT is to develop, disseminate and share best practices, experience and innovations in freight logistics that contribute to meeting European transport policy objectives.
The award ceremony is a part of the transport conference ‘Smart Logistics Best Practices: Making Better Use of Existing Infrastructure Capacities', organized by BESTFACT.
‘TransRussia 2014' Exhibition in Moscow
The international transport and logistics exhibition ‘TransRussia 2014' has recently taken place in Moscow. It is one of the biggest and most popular transport exhibitions in Middle and Eastern Europe. This year the exhibition attracted around 500 companies from 30 countries and around 15000 visitors.
JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways' participated at the exhibition, which was held for the 19th time, with an exceptional double-decker stand. Representatives of more than 70 companies visited the ‘Lithuanian Railways' stand during the exhibition. Meetings with business partners from ‘Kaztemirtrans', ‘Kaztransservice JSC', ‘Transmashholding', ‘Cargosped SP. Z.O.O.', ‘Russkaya Troyka JSC', ‘Hupac Intermodal SA', ‘Intermodal Express LLC', other transport and logistics companies as well as representatives of the Russian, Belarus, Kazakhstanian, Polish and German railways took place.
‘TransRussia' is presented as the main event of the year in the field of transport and logistics as far as the markets of Russia, CIS countries and the Baltic States are concerned. The exhibition is held every year, yet it does not lose its relevance and popularity.Russia is one of the most important Lithuanian partners. In 2013 JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways' transported 48.03 m. tonnes of freight; 16.54 m. tonnes (34.4%) of them were Russian freight. The main Russian freight consists of oil and oil products (16.2 m. tonnes in total with 5.0 m. tonnes (31.1%) from Russia), black metals (2.7 m. tonnes in total with 2.0 m.. tonnes (74%) from Russia), solid mineral fuel (3.1 m. tones in total with 2.9 m. tonnes (94%) from Russia), fertilisers (11.4 m. tonnes in total with 1.9 m. tonnes (16.4%) from Russia).
On 8-10 May the 10th transport, logistics and ITS exhibition ‘TRANSBALTICA 2014' took place at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre ‘LITEXPO'. The international exhibition, taking place every second year, is the only specialized event reflecting current trends in transport business in the Baltic States. The aims of the exhibition are to present news of the market as well as challenges, innovations and topical issues of the transport sector, to encourage cooperation of transport business companies, development of international business relationships, an increase in domestic demand and to contribute to formation of an image of Lithuania as a modern transit country.
The exhibition included the conference that featured presentations and discussions on the topics: ‘Competitiveness, Innovation in Transport and Logistics' and ‘Sustainable and Intelligent Logistics – a Foundation for the European and Asian Partnership'.
On 8 May the ‘Windrose' awards, introduced by the international business magazine ‘JŪRA MOPE SEA', took place. The ‘Windrose' awards, launched in 2009, are dedicated to innovations, ecologic business development, implementation of renewable energy sources, creation of integrated maritime policy in Europe and Asia, strengthening of economic and international cooperation and implementation of scientific achievements in business. The Windrose, pointing to the four directions of the world, always accompanied caravans and ships travelling the Silk Road, Tea, Spice, Sugar, Amber and Diamond roads. Today these roads are called transport corridors linking the world continents. As there are four corners of the world or four big arrows of the Windrose, there are correspondingly four nominations presented at the ‘Windrose' awards. The nominations of this year are as follow: ‘For the Most Innovative Logistics Project in the East-West Direction', ‘For the Most Successful International Project of Economic Cooperation', ‘For Input into International Cooperation in the Development of Maritime Business, Transport and Logistics', ‘For Input in the Promotion of Logistics Science'.The prize for ‘For the Most Innovative Logistics Project in the East-West Direction' went to the contrailer train ‘Nemunas' and its operator Freight Forwarding Department ‘LG ekspedicija'.
Conference ‘The Economic Corridor of the Silk Road'
On 12-16 May JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways', continuing its cooperation with industrial companies of People's Republic of China, is holding a conference ‘Economic Corridor of the Silk Road' in Vilnius and Klaipėda. The main aim of the Chinese delegation's visit is to estimate the possibilities and perspectives of freight transportation via the new Silk Road connecting China, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Western Europe. This visit is a great chance to present our country's economic and commercial potential as well as our company's services, possibilities and terminals of the Port of Klaipėda.
The Chinese delegation will have a reception at the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania as well as meetings with Chief Executive Officer of JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways' S. Dailydka and Chief Executive Officer of Klaipėda State Seaport Directorate A. Vaitkus. Throughout the visit activities of transport and logistics companies will be presented, possibilities of cooperation will be discussed, ensuring long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Construction of Kaunas Intermodal Terminal is Gaining Momentum
The project of Kaunas Intermodal Terminal (KIT) at Kaunas railway station (Palemonas railway spot) is gaining momentum. Construction works of the terminal that began last autumn are being carried out at an intense rate.
As soon as next year the largest European freight transportation companies will be offered to operate KIT. The infrastructure implemented by KIT will allow transporting freight by rail from the West to the East faster and cheaper.
The aim is to exploit Kaunas Intermodal Terminal as an important spot in serving freight flows from Central Europe to Asia. Prognoses state that railways will soon be able to offer lower freight shipment rates than seaports. 2015 onwards, rates of freight shipment by sea will increase by 20% due to the new directive relating to restrictions on sulfur residues for ship fuel. It is very likely that transporting and distributing freight by rail will become a cheaper and, therefore, a more competitive option.
It is planned that Kaunas Intermodal Terminal will serve freight, coming through Poland from Germany and other countries. Redistributed freight, transferred onto the 1520 mm. gauge, will travel to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Nordic countries and China.
KIT neighbors with Kaunas LEZ, which offers possibilities for various companies to develop their activities. Around 200 companies operate around Palemonas railway station, which have now been exploiting the railway for a long time. Building a new track and renewing the infrastructure will allow serving several times larger freight flows. Negotiations are being carried out with a Swiss company ‘Hupac', which is one of the biggest intermodal operators in Europe and which already transships its freight in Šeštokai once a week and transports it to Kazakhstan. An agreement has already been signed with the biggest railway company ‘DB Schenker Rail'. Once the new terminal is built and the new ‘Rail Baltica' track from Šeštokai to Kaunas is finished, the supply of services for large freight travelling to Rotterdam, Hamburg and other ports will significantly broaden.
KIT is a extremely geographically convenient place for communication. The nearby ‘Via Baltica' highway along with the airport opens possibilities for investment attraction. It is estimated that in ten years' time the amount of freight transported via Kaunas will equal to 6-8 m. tonnes of freight per year.
Vilnius Must Be a Part of ‘Rail Baltica'
The three Baltic States have entered into a political agreement on the establishment of ‘Rail Baltica' joint venture, linking Vilnius to the route. Both Estonia and Latvia claim to support Lithuania's position that the contract of the joint venture could be signed before 1 July.
In a constructive discussion all main problems and the most important questions were discussed, it was agreed that Vilnius must become a part of ‘Rail Baltica'. However, the day when the Lithuanian capital will be connected depends on many factors. Solutions, which are beneficial to all parties and acceptable to the European Commission, will be further sought.
Until now the Baltic States have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on the establishment of the ‘Rail Baltica' joint venture. The main reason for disagreements was the question of Vilnius. The Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania upheld the position that Vilnius may be connected in a different financial perspective, yet the fact that the Lithuania capital is a part of the Trans-European track should be already included in the shareholders' contract. Estonia wanted to include Vilnius into a project later when feasibility studies and negotiations with the European Commission are carried out.
Under approximate calculations, the ‘Rail Baltica' line could be built in 2019-2024. The railway should link Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw, extending it to Berlin. 85% of the project value may be funded by the European Union.The total length of the ‘Rail Baltica' route should amount to around 360 km. in Lithuania, a bit over 300 km. in Latvia and around 300 km. in Estonia.
Freight Transportation Directorate of JSC Lithuanian Railways
Phone: (8 5) 269 2125, (8 5) 269 3244,
fax (8 5) 269 2588,
e - mail: [email protected]