ROLA train of Rail Cargo Group

GrainLane: a new, digital way for Ukrainian grain trade

ROLA train of Rail Cargo Group, source: Rail Cargo Group

Austria-based company ÖBB Rail Cargo Group (RCG) launched a new initiative named GrainLane. This initiative aims to connect Ukrainian farmers with retailers, customers, and logistic providers all over Europe and Africa.

The project is coordinated by ÖBB Open Innovation Team, in partnership with V_labs, an Austrian company specializing in business model innovation. The platform seeks to create an open and transparent digital marketplace where Ukrainian grain producers can connect with international buyers.

Ukraine is among the largest producers of sunflower oil (50 per cent of global production), corn (15 per cent of global production), and wheat (12 per cent of global production). In addition, the African continent is strongly dependent on Ukrainian grain exports.

How does it work?

The innovative aspect of the service is that it will form the basis to connect producers and customers that have had no business relationship before the war. The hope for this project is to help unlock the over 20 million tonnes of grain that is currently stuck in Ukraine due to naval blockades.

The platform, which is free of charge, will offer detailed grain offers at attractive prices: 200 euro/tonne for wheat and 169 euro/tonne for dry corn. Currently, over 64,000 tonnes of agricultural products are readily available on the platform, which counts over 600 users. Interested parties can work out the details individually among themselves. GrainLane does, however, offer transport services thanks to its partner network.

RCG efforts in Ukraine

RCG has been active in supporting Ukrainian agriculture in the past months. The company has planned to double its grain transport capacity by the end of July through a higher number of deliveries in Austria, but also in Hungary and Romania.

Rail Cargo Hungaria, a subsidiary of the RCG, oversees three-quarters of the Ukrainian grain exports in Hungary. Concerning Romania, RCG plans to increase deliveries on rail once fuel supply issues improve.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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