Transportation faces problems with different gauges and track capacity.
The Czech freight rail carrier CD Cargo has joined in a new effort to help Ukraine. After delivering humanitarian aid and military material to Ukraine, the carrier, in cooperation with other partners, transported the first train with grain from Ukraine to the German port of Brake. From there, the cargo will be shipped to Egypt.
Due to the Russian invasion, Ukraine cannot export grain via Black Sea ports as usual. Meanwhile, this year’s harvest is fast approaching and Ukrainian silos are still full. Efforts thus need be made to transport at least part of the food supplies via Europe by rail. The first train carried approximately 1 800 tonnes of maize, which was loaded onto normal gauge wagons at the transhipment yard near Cierna nad Tisou in Slovakia.
Transport across Europe by rail faces a number of problems, starting with different gauges. Carriers can either retie the bogies or reload the cargo. However, the capacity of transhipment points is limited. Another bottleneck is border crossings or border lines. For example, the capacity of the border line in the Elbe valley between Decin and Dresden is significantly limited. Unloading capacity at ports is not unlimited either. Using Innofreight with forklift unloading could be an alternative.
Routes to Germany and Poland or to the Adriatic
Negotiations on various transport alternatives are underway and various routes are being discussed mainly via Polish and German ports or ports in the Adriatic Sea. CD Cargo is licensed to operate in all neighboring countries, which is an advantage.
Last week, European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg discussed the transport of grain from Ukraine, which is one of the main suppliers of grain and other agricultural crops to the world market. Due to the blockade of the Black Sea ports, wheat exports have been hampered. According to Valean, it is necessary to export 20 million tonnes of grain from Ukraine in order to avoid a shortage of supply to North Africa and Asia.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.