Along with the visit of Latvian officials and the President of “Latvijas dzelzceļš” (LDz) in Minsk, where further co-operation with the companies of the neighbouring country was discussed, on 5 February, the first journey of the express freight train on the Minsk-Riga route was launched from the station “Šķirotava” in Latvia.
In October last year, in Minsk, LDz and Belarusian railways agreed on forming closer co-operation and offering customers a faster and more convenient way of freight transportation on the route Riga – Minsk. The companies also undertook to collaborate on the development of a new product – the express freight train “Minsk–Riga”, which, at the request of customers, would deliver cargo from one city to the other within 28 hours. The agreement between the heads of the companies intended to implement a pilot project of the express freight train “Minsk–Riga”, which was implemented in January when the train was sent from Minsk to Riga in test mode, and on this week – in the reverse direction.
A train of mixed-cargo, consisting of 21 forty-feet containers of textile machinery, 13 grain wagons, and 3 wagons with metal products, set on course for Minsk this week. It must be added that the containers come from India in cooperation with the German logistics company “RTSB GmbH” and the Belarussian train operator “Belintertrans”, thus confirming the first results in attracting new partners in the region of South Asia, therefore, the possible development of new freight delivery solutions as well as opportunities for the Latvian transport and logistics industry.
“Predictability, precision, and speed of action play a huge role in the field of transport and logistics. The creation of a new product – an express freight train between the capital cities of Latvia and Belarus, ensures that the owners of cargo who would like to use the connection will be able to count on a definite and clear timetable of freight transport in the future. The long-term goal is to ensure a regular flow of cargo on this route, whose future potential will increase with the development of the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park “The Great Stone”,” Edvīns Bērziņš, President of LDz, emphasises.
The volume of freight transported between Latvia and Belarus on the rail route Indra-Bigosava increased by 13.9% last year in comparison to 2016, and amounted to 7.7 million tonnes. Today, the leaders of both railways agreed to continue to work on attracting freight for transportation between Belarus and Latvia both on the new express freight train Minsk-Riga-Minsk and on the existing container transport route “Zubr”.