The Russian rail freight haulier has started to carry coal and solid bitumen in order to source more containerised cargo for the eastbound leg of the New Silk Road.
The first batch of coal, 3,960t loaded into open top containers, was dispatched from the Priargunsk station on 26 January. It reached the Zabaykalsk-Manzhouli border-crossing in less than one day where a Chinese party took over the shipment.
TransContainer plans to transport some 13kt/month on the route in question.
"Transportation of coal in containers has a number of advantages: faster transshipment of the loaded rolling stock via the border-crossing points and it makes unnecessary to transship the cargo to railway rolling stock of narrower gauge which solves the problem of frozen coal causing the wagon to idle for several days in winter. For modern world it is also important that during transportation of coal in containers environmental damage is minor while transportation in wagons with numerous transshipments causes high coal-dust emissions," the company highlighted in a press release.
To this Aleksandrs Isurins, President, TransContainer, added, "This technology significantly decreases burden on infrastructure allowing to increase the cargo flow speed. At the same time it is also worth mentioning that most consignors of coal product already have the equipment necessary for coal loading into open top containers, since there are no major differences between coal loading in high-sided wagon and coal loading in containers."
Next, on 28 January, a 120 TEUs-big train with solid bitumen, which earlier was transported in covered wagons, left the Chernikovka station for Chengdu, also crossing the border in Zabaykalsk-Manzhouli.
Trains with containerised solid bitumen are to run on a monthly basis. TransContainer expects to at least double that frequency in the near future.
Photo: TransContainer/Delo Group