LG Cargo, a freight transportation company owned by the largest railway group in the Baltic States, Lithuanian Railways (Lietuvos Geležinkeliai), has joined forces with the largest railway freight transport operator in Poland, PKP Cargo, and intermodal transport operator and technology provider CargoBeamer to pilot an intermodal train with road semi-trailers from Girteka Logistics.
On May 14th a train carrying 22 semi-trailers arrived at Šeštokai terminal, a southwest district of Lithuania after a 2-day trip from Kaldenkirchen Intermodal Terminal, near the German border with the Netherlands. This was the first ever semi-trailer transport by freight train in the Baltic States and 1/3 of the carried semi-trailers in this historical intermodal trip are owned by Girteka Logistics.
During the pilot, Girteka Logistics were loaded on a special train wagon technology provided by CargoBeamer semi-trailers reached Šeštokai by the European gauge Rail Baltica. At the terminal in Šeštokai they were again connected to the trucks to drive the last mile to the final point of unloading.
100 tons less CO2
The pilot route Kaldenkirchen-Šeštokai-Kaldenkirchen will cover about 3000 kilometers and will transport 45 semi-trailers in total as 23 semi-trailers will be transported on a train return to Kaldenkirchen.
It is estimated that this will help to reduce the CO2 released into the environment by up to 100 tons compared to the carriage of semi-trailers separately by trucks. By comparison, a weight of 100 tons would make up 16 elephants, or if we measure it in cubic meters, it would be equal to the size of 25 hot air balloons.
The long-distance transportation of semi-trailers by rail is encouraged by the European Union (EU), as it has a lower impact on the environment and increases road safety. It is also beneficial for logistics and road transport companies, as it saves fuel and human resources. In addition, it is easier and faster to cross borders between countries, thus avoiding long downtime and possible delays at customs.
The European Commission aims to achieve that 30% of goods carried by more than 300 kilometers would be transported by rail or water transport by 2030, and by 2050 this figure should exceed 50%.