Hazardous goods on the train from South Korea to Poland

TransContainer intermodal terminal, source: TransContainer

TransContainer is in the process of shipping hazardous cargo in reefers from South Korea to Poland, making use of sea transport as well as the train. Avoiding China, where hazardous goods may not be transported overland, the special cargo entered the mainland via the Russian port of Vostochny. From here, a freight train delivered the shipment to the Russian border town of Małaszewicze.

On 21 January, the test block train was dispatched from the berth of Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company LLC (VSC, part of the Global Ports group) at Vostochny port. The train is travelling through the territory of Russia and Belarus and crosses the border between Belarus and Poland in Brest. Małaszewicze is the final destination.

Security measures

The train is loaded with Li-ion batteries for LGChem. This type of product is categorised as class 9 hazardous cargo, and not every country permits the transport of this type of freight over its land routes. Most notably, China is currently restricting the transport of dangerous goods, banning batteries from its rail freight network. This is to the frustration of the rail freight industry, as it sidelines a large market.

According to TransContainer, complex measures have been taken in accordance with international and national standards to provide security of the shipment. The reefer containers are connected to UPS along the way, to provide the customers with additional security. VSC terminal has a license to handle hazardous goods, making it the ideal port to send the shipment westwards.

Regular service

TransContainer organises this service together with Pantos Logistics. FNS CIS is the forwarder at the port. In the future, TransContainer plans to make this service regular and on a weekly basis.

It is the second test journey of this kind. The companies carried out a first test shipment in December. From Busan in South Korea to Małaszewicze, the journey took 19 days, which is twice as fast as the route by sea.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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