Tenfold increase for Eurasian rail freight traffic through Hungary
Rail Cargo Hungaria reported a significant increase of Chinese freight container trains arriving in the country, through the Zahony transhipment station at the Hungary-Ukraine border. “Compared to 2019, traffic experienced a tenfold increase beginning from August 2020”, said Imre Kovacs board chairman of the company. From a total of four intermodal trains arriving monthly at Zahony in 2019, the number reached six to eight monthly intermodal trains carrying forty to fifty containers each.
The development at Zahony indicates the potential that Hungary has to become an important European entry point for the New Silk Road. Especially in terms of handling increased traffic volumes and decongesting busy border crossings such as Malaszewicze/Brest, Hungary could transform into a quite strong player. Other planned investments in the region, like the East-West-Gate terminal at Fényeslitke, also prove the country’s growing course.
The East-West Gate
The border crossing of Hungary-Ukraine was not among the most chosen ones for Eurasian transportation. However, the numbers of Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) show that this is not the case anymore. In an interview with RailFreight Live, Janos Talosi, CEO of East-West-Gate in Hungary explained that the investment at Fényeslitke will establish Hungary’s position in the map of logistics even more, after experiencing a decline during the past twenty years.
The new terminal will provide extra capacities that could better handle increased traffic volumes between the EU and China. Consequently, it could assist other border crossings that struggle due to busyness and avoid delays. With a wide range of services that include operations both on a standard and broad gauge, and technologies allowing the handling of cranable and non-cranable semi-trailers, the terminal will also benefit intermodal transportation.
Watch the full interview here
Generally, rail freight transportation’s numbers in Hungary rose by 7,5 per cent during 2020. Demand regarding rail services increased substantially while traffic volumes also got boosted. The most significant increase took place in the intermodal sector of the country. Maybe not in terms of numbers, since the Hungarian intermodal market saw a rise of almost 2 per cent, but in terms of acquiring efficiency and speed in transportation.
The country is currently heavily investing in its infrastructure. With such developments in mind, intermodal traffic will probably increase more. Concurrently, it will also claim its role as a European gateway to and from the East. Understandably, expectations around Hungary and its position in Eurasian transport rise rapidly. What else is there? The continuation of high numbers in turnover and the completion of investments will show.