Rail success positions Port of Gdansk as ‘logistics hub’

A new railway bridge at the Port of Gdansk (PGA) ensured rail freight volumes through Poland’s biggest sea port reached record levels in 2016. Almost 240,000 rail wagons were handled last year, up by 24 per cent on the previous year.

The Management Board of PGA say that, on average, one goods train was dealt with every 90 minutes in 2016, and taken together with road trucks it means that last year was the port’s ‘best result ever’ for land traffic.

Large increase

Measured against figures from from four years ago, rail traffic at Gdansk is up by nearly 40 per cent, and the board says that the ‘current dynamics confirms the large increase in the importance of Gdansk in the operation of overland transport’.

The outer port area accounted for three-quarters of the traffic, with rail freight having the largest share of individual means of traditional transport in overland freight handling with 31 per cent, ahead of 29 per cent for trucks, but both behind pipeline transport at 40 per cent.

Directional structure

Rail was utilised mainly for the transportation of coal, containers and chemicals, including fertilisers. A newly-built rail bridge over the Martwa Wisla river was crossed by more than 5,600 trains, or more than 220,000 wagons, according to estimates from port operators. Average daily rail freight traffic amounted to around 15 trains, or more than 620 wagons, a day.

Achievement

“The achievement of such a result is pleasing, all the more so because during two quarters only one track was in operation on the bridge,” said the PGA Management Board in a statement. The second track was opened in the third quarter of 2016.

The bridge was mainly used for the transport of containerised cargo, which in the past year increased by more than half in terms of tonnage in overland traffic. This automatically led to a rapid increase in the amount of land transport used to handle freight at the port.

Logistics hub

Detailed analysis of overland traffic in the port clearly demonstrates the growing importance of Gdansk as the logistics hub of the country,” said the board. “Each day it handles more than 650 full wagons, most of which usually travels to or from the port without load. Thus, in practice, this means almost double the traffic compared to average daily levels.

“This year, the Management Board of PGA expects consistent growth in land traffic and is taking action to stimulate further development in this field. The aim of the Management Board of PGA is to create favourable conditions for the further development of logistics operations in the port, which will translate into higher growth of transhipments, resulting in strengthening the position of the Port of Gdansk.”

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for RailFreight.com - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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