Samskip and the Rail Cargo Group have announced plans to link their multimodal transport networks by launching a rail connection between Curtici, Romania and major logistics centres in Sweden.
A new chapter will open in the partnership between Samskip and the Rail Cargo Group (as part of the ÖBB – Austrian Federal Railways) from 1 January 2017, with the launch of seamless rail services connecting Romania and Sweden.
The new service will effectively join two existing, fully operational routes to form the first unified rail connection between the East European nation and Scandinavia, taking advantage of Samskip’s state-of-the-art railway hub in Duisburg, Germany. Lying on the western border of Romania, Curtici is a major junction in Central European railway network that connects to the country’s capital Bucharest.
“Until now, shippers wanting to transport shipments between the two regions have had little choice but to use road haulage, running the risk of road congestion, delays and unpredictable delivery times”, says Frank Gielen, Rail Development Manager Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal. “The rail connection offers shippers a more reliable alternative, as well as achieving substantially lower emissions per unit load.”
“Rail Cargo Group is delighted to enter into this broad cooperation with Samskip Van Dieren, as the two companies will be the first to offer an end-to-end connection between Turkey and Scandinavia, combining Rail Cargo Group connections between Turkey and Romania, and Romania and Germany, with Samskip’s network from Duisburg to various destinations in Scandinavia. The new offer to the market comes in high frequency, in very competitive transit times and at attractive price levels”, says Max Kindler, Business Unit Manager Rail Cargo Group Intermodal. Rail Cargo Operator, as the operating division of the Rail Cargo Group, connects European economic centres with technically mature intermodal logistics designs, system trains and a wide choice of train products.
The new multimodal freight service will offer competitive transit times compared to road, allowing shippers to transport cargo from Curtici to Stockholm in four to five working days.
Freight rail services in Romania have developed considerably in recent years, with investments including a new international link to Bulgaria across the Danube as part of the Pan-European Corridor IV, and the reconstruction of the line linking Constanta Seaport with Bucharest. Curtici offers a ‘turntable’ for Central & Eastern Europe hinterland transport and is a vital gateway to Western Europe.
Initially the Duisburg – Curtici shuttle has a scheduled four round trips per week but, by providing a more attractive option to road haulage, the partners are confident that the new route will stimulate an increased flow of goods between the two regions. Samskip and RCO envisage ramping up frequency to five roundtrips later in the year.
Shippers will benefit from a seamless terminal-to-terminal service, with a single Samskip point of contact dealing with the entire transit across the rail network via the Duisburg hub. In addition, Samskip provides shippers with a user-friendly online portal to manage bookings and monitor the progress of shipments through the network. The system also generates automatic departure and arrival notifications to provide reassurance to customers.
The new route from Curtici extends the penetration of Samskip’s intermodal network in Central and Eastern Europe through its fully-owned terminal in Germany, connecting Sweden and Denmark in the north to Italy and Turkey in the south.