Metrans: ‘starting point for 2024 is not very positive’
Rail freight operations costs for logistics giant Metrans are expected to increase with the new year. The main reasons underlined by the company’s CEO Peter Kiss are energy and fuel prices, track access charges, and cancellation fees. All these increases led Metrans to “expect a price increase of up to 5 per cent” for 2024.
According to Metrans, infrastructure charges for both railways and ports will increase across its whole network. More specifically, rail infrastructure charges for Metrans will increase up to three per cent, while port authorities are estimated to increase charges by three to seven per cent. Another issue will be cancellation fees, such as the one implemented by DB Netz in Germany for 2024, which Metrans claims can reach up to 15 per cent of the track access charges.
Inflation is still a problem
Another factor that “has a significant negative effect on the final prices”, according to the company, is inflation, especially when it comes to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In this area, Metrans explained, Consumer Price Index is almost twice as high compared to other areas of Europe. Most of the countries in the CEE area are experiencing higher annual inflation rates compared to the EU average, which stands at 5.9 per cent. For example, Romania, Poland, and Slovakia are all above 9 per cent, Slovakia sits at 10.1 per cent, and Hungary leads the way with 14,2 per cent.