Image: Rail Cargo Group

RCG: rail is the only sustainable transport mode, now and for the next 10-15 years

For Rail Cargo Group, 2020 is the year when unexpected struggles and anticipated innovations came along. As the company states: “We are not immune to the impacts of Covid-19, but in 2020 we also reached a milestone in our transformation into a digital RCG”. 2021, as the European Year of Rail, seems an excellent opportunity for the company to dive into its ambition of sustainable and digitalised rail transport.

When the Covid-19 outbreak first ravaged the globe, Rail Cargo Group (RCG) suffered from a big business slump. However, the company managed to stand this test of collaborative efforts and crisis management. During the crisis, RCG maintained the flow of goods and secured supplies throughout Eurasia. Satisfaction levels increased by 4 per cent among their clients while 90 per cent were impressed by the company’s smooth operation that “seems not to be going through a crisis”.

Digitalisation and innovations

The challenge posed by the worldwide pandemic didn’t defeat RCG. On the contrary, the company rebounded and solidly proved its role of “the sustainable logistical backbone of the European economy”. This outcome should be attributed to RCG’s innovative attempts and considerable investments in digitalised rail transport.

In September, the company launched its digital service portfolio SmartLINK and the digital assistant MIKE, which bears features of accurate capacity planning, online ordering and real-time checking. The achievement of accessing railways digitally marked a considerable step towards a digital RCG.

Besides, the state-of-the-art telematics and sensor technology SmartCargo has been extensively applied to its freight wagons, the number of which will be almost 10,000 near the year’s end. Likewise, Digital Automatic Coupling has been driven forward throughout Europe in RCG’s persistent efforts to improve the competitiveness of the rail sector’s operations. To be “the sustainable logistical backbone of the European economy”, making necessary investments is of utmost importance, no matter how much pressure it brings, says RCG.

Expanded networks

In 2020, RCG continuously expanded its dense TransFER network. Within Europe, the Swiss city Frenkendorf was added to the connection between Wolfurt (Austria) and Rotterdam. This new addition enables more efficient transport of intercontinental flows of goods. The company’s intermodal network was also enriched by the new direct services to and from Romania (Ploiesti) and Turkey.

Furthermore, RCG approached its ambitious goal of more frequent connections between Europe and China in the larger Eurasian scale. The new LCL express services between Xi’an-Budapest and China-Vienna proved their competitiveness in the New Silk Road. RCG stated that offering attractive and competitive products will still be high on its future agenda.

Green and promising 2021

When it comes to the logistical and environmental value of rail, RCG shows implicit faith: “Rail is the only sustainable land transport mode, now and at least for the next 10 to 15 years”. For the European Year of Rail, the company calls on the EU Commission and the Member States to create more awareness among the society and a fair transport policy on a macroeconomic level. Only by doing so, the sustainable land transport mode — rail will gain a higher market share.

Moreover, as a key player of the rail industry, RCG emphasises its blueprint’s responsibility for 2021. The company reiterates its resolve in innovations and expansion of its network. Additionally, it aims to increase interoperability and achieve the goal of “driving a train across Europe as easy as a truck”. After all, when the market share of rail grows, the target of less CO2 emissions of European Green Deal becomes more realisable.

Author: Huilin Shi

Huilin Shi is the editor of, our Chinese publication

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