METRANS: simplification of processes required for 2021
While assessing the ending year, METRANS sees multiple positive developments. Among them are the growth of traffic on the New Silk Road, the discovery of new possibilities and procedures and the launching of new services and terminals. Surely 2020 brought some struggles too; however, the company conceived them as lessons for further deployment in the coming year.
METRANS’ philosophy focuses mainly on destinations’ interconnectivity that also provides space to develop new routes and networks. In practice, the company’s terminals in Europe indeed bear this feature. In this way, apart from connecting seaside hubs with the hinterland, the railway undertaking also strives to exploit possibilities for connections that can open pathways for eastbound rail freight transport.
Considering this viewpoint, 2020 was undoubtedly a year of success, despite the various difficulties caused by Covid-19. Considerably grown imbalances of freight flows in Eurasian transport, and operational challenges from restrictions applied on border-crossings constituted flaming issues in the previous months.
However, their confrontation proved that a company can work with flexibility in hectic times and apply new schemes that can be beneficial also in the future. Exploring new approaches regarding internal working procedures or possibilities that might not be visible without the pandemic’s contribution compose Metrans’ reference points for 2020.
As mentioned above, the intermodal company witnessed significant growth regarding New Silk Road’s traffic and volumes. Indicative of this tendency was also the launching of a new train service from China to Slovakia, using Ukraine as the gateway to Europe. The Xi’an-Dobra-Dunajska Streda connection arrived as a new alternative route towards the East with great potential.
In general, METRANS supports the deployment of alternative routes in Eurasian transport dynamically. Moreover, it is among the companies that joyfully welcomed the addition of Ukraine in the map of transit countries since it firmly believes that it is an excellent alternative to the frequently congested Belarussian infrastructure.
In Germany, the opening of two new terminals at Gernsheim and Berlin is also complementary to this mentality. Combined with the Csepel terminal’s services in Budapest that connects Central Eastern Europe with the Balkan peninsula, these additions expanded the company’s European network even more. All the above developments focused on the reliability of services and sustainability, in cooperation with HHLA Pure.
What the sector needs
Making an easy guess regarding the company’s requests from the rail freight sector, one would say that connections within Europe that can get extended to the new Silk Road routes would be of priority. However, Metrans is also turning its attention to the possibilities that good cooperation can produce.
Cooperation between national infrastructure managers and governments to financially support rail freight and allow it to become more competitive, equal to road transport, is indeed vital. The European Union also has a critical part in these processes since it owes to create optimal conditions for all modes of transportation and promote greener solutions.
On top of that, the EU can also contribute by implementing policies that could simplify processes that burden rail freight transport. One of them, for instance, concerns border-crossing procedures which might be time-consuming and complicated. In fact improvements in this field are urgent and essential.
Looking in 2021
The company’s aspirations for the coming year include preserving steady growth on transport along the New Silk Road. Additionally, it aims to investigate all the possibilities for new destinations and connections, also with regards to maritime cargo.
Finally, customer-wise METRANS hopes that it will provide more connectivity options to its clients through its network. Hopefully, with normality restored, the following year not only will be the European Year of Rail, but it will be remembered like that in the future.