The Yuxinou-Train from the southwest of China, Chongqing, launched on 13. March 2011. So far, the industry of container rail freight between China and Europe has developed 10 years. A record 12,400 China-Europe freight train trips were made in 2020, up 50% from the previous year, according to China’s railway operator. Ivan Ružbacký, CEO of PKP Cargo Connect talked to New Silkroad Discovery about the development of the New Silk Road.
Presence on the New Silk Road since 2015
PKP Cargo Connect’s presence on the New Silk Road dates back to November 2015. Initially it was a cooperation with ZIH company in Zhengzhou, which lasted until April 2018. After organizational transformations in this company, PKP Cargo Connect now cooperates with Eurasian International Freight GmbH. Since then, Ružbacký’s team provides comprehensive rail transport with dedicated customs services as well as transshipment services and container storage mainly on the European section from the border in Małaszewicze to the final destination stations in Western Europe.
“We are observing trends in international freight transport by rail and hence our interest in developing on the New Silk Road. We are an experienced partner on the European side of the New Silk Road. Long-term cooperation with our contractors proves that we are evaluated as a reliable forwarder and, without false modesty, I would like to add that PKP Cargo Connect is able to provide services at the highest international level.” said Ivan Ružbacký, “it contributes to the development of our intermodal transport department. For us it also confirms the high position of the company in the network of international logistic chains.”
Potential in the future of trade and freight volumes between Aisa and Europe
Poland has a very important role on the route between China and Europe. As a gateway for goods coming to the European Union, Poland has a real chance to become a central point on the logistic map of Europe, which would mean dynamic development of infrastructure, more jobs and profits for the state budget. The number of trains between China and the European Union is growing every year and breaks new records.
According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research(CEBR), the realization of the New Silk Road project may bring as much as 48 billion dollars to Poland’s GDP by 2040. Due to the potential benefits for the State Treasury and the development of Polish companies, the New Silk Road should become one of the priority projects of the Polish economy.
“We are glad that PKP Cargo Connect has its share in this development. What is more, we also provide transport services in the opposite direction. Since last year we have been successfully developing project of intermodal transport of timber from Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany to China. It is an interesting and promising project which has given us new competences,” says Ivan Ružbacký, PKP Cargo Connect CEO.
Development of infrastructure, investments in rail-network still required
“Trade between Asian and European countries is developing very dynamically. The volumes of transported goods are increasing. Both the advantages of our geographical location and the developed logistics base give us the opportunity to play an important role in carrying out major logistic operations. We can be a logistic hub handling flows of goods from Europe to China in the scope of consolidation and deconsolidation for deliveries from Asia, before final delivery to destinations in Europe.” Ivan Ružbacký ist optimistic about the the future of trade and freight volumes between Aisa and Europe, the potential of rail freight as well.
However, this requires development of infrastructure, primarily investments in a network of terminals and railroad sidings, which will be able to efficiently handle this stream of cargo.
“Increasing the reloading capacity of the terminal in Małaszewicze, its expansion, will be a great asset that can help us to be more than just a transit point. Poland, and more specifically Małaszewicze are the main entry and exit gate on the route from China to the European Union.”
According to Ivan Ružbacký, the PKP has responded to the efforts of neighbouring countries to attract Chinese volumes via alternative routes, e.g. via Kaliningrad and then by feeder to Germany or via Slovakia, by opening connections via the Izov/Hrubieszów crossing and further on via the PKP LHS broad gauge line to Sławków.
“These are logical undertakings if we think about the development of Poland and its position on the transport map on the Europe-Asia route. At the same time, these are necessary undertakings in terms of logistics of the entire transport process. PKP Cargo Group is developing in this direction in order to create a Polish intermodal hub on the New Silk Road through its transport capacity and terminal network.”
Intermodal transport is the most dynamically developing mode of transport in recent years. Every year more and more cargo is carried in containers. The awareness of end users has also increased. “We can definitely say that the development of intermodal transport has been influenced by the development of e-commerce. Every year it is an increase of several percent.”said the CEO of PKP Cargo Connect.
He named an example of innovations in their service. “We have produced a specialized container for the transport of sugar and the performance of these services. This is the direction in which we want to develop and we see great potential in it. Adapting transportation methods to the specifics of the product is something that I think has a future.”