The most important border crossings for intermodal traffic. Source: UTK

Poland’s rail freight numbers for 2021: Southern border still behind

The most important border crossings for intermodal traffic. Source: UTK

The Polish Office of Rail Transport (UTK) has published the figures for 2021 concerning intermodal rail service for both domestic and international transport. Intermodal rail service in Poland grew between 2020 and 2021 in both TEUs and total tonnes transported. In international trade, the southern border is still behind when compared to the Eastern and Western ones.

According to UTK, in 2021 26.5 m tonnes were transported by intermodal rail services. This shows an increase of 11,6 per cent compared to 2020. TEUs also increase by 8,9 per cent in 2021.

Polish domestic intermodal transport

Over 40 terminals operated in the country, with the Deepwater Container Terminal in Gdańsk and the Baltic Container Terminal in Gdynia leading the way. These two terminals, in fact, accounted for 43 per cent of the value of the total potential of all such facilities in Poland.

When it comes to domestic transport, UTK claims that it mostly involves the movement of cargo between intermodal terminals. Said terminals are used to transport empty containers or to assemble trains from wagons that need to be transported from other locations in the country.

Polish international intermodal trains

Concerning international trade, the Polish Eastern and Western borders, respectively with Belarus and Germany, are well developed. As the graphs show, the Polish borders with Belarus and Germany were the busiest in 2021, with respectively 9,399 and 6,193 trains crossing.

The Southern border with the Czech Republic, on the other hand, is still trying to gain relevance. As the graph shows, only 2,030 trains crossed the border in 2021. ​​As UTK pointed out, “the number of trains in direct services to Poland’s southern border is still low”.

UTK has also made available the data for the two border crossings on the Northern Polish border with Kaliningrad. In 2021, 784 trains crossed the two border crossings connecting Poland with the Russian enclave in Lithuania.

RailFreight Summit

Do you want to learn more about Poland and its role as a rail freight hub? On 7 & 8 September, the industry gathers in Warsaw for the 5th edition of the RailFreight Summit. You can register for this event here.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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