We’ve bought 16 state-of-the-art locomotives and overhauled more than 500 freight carriages, but that’s not the end. We are proud of our cooperation with Europe’s leader in auto-logistics, as well as the advancement of operations in the field of intermodal transport, says Serbia Cargo director Dušan Garibović.
You had ambitious plans regarding the procurement of new locomotives and the overhauling of freight wagons. Are you managing to realise them?
– A successful business year was crowned with the expansion of our contract with Siemens on the purchase of another eight multi-systematic “Vectron” locomotives, with which we realised the second part of the loan arrangement with the EBRD IV, amounting to 32 million euros. As a reminder, it is worth noting that the first part of the credit arrangement for the purchase of the first eight Vectron locomotives, also amounting to nearly 32 million euros, was realised on 24th May 2018. We expect all locomotives detailed in the first contract to have arrived in Serbia by the end of March, and for the subsequent eight locomotives to be delivered during December 2019 and January 2020.
With the procurement of these 16 locomotives, which satisfy current and future European standards in terms of ecology, noise and energy savings, we will become a regional leader in terms of the quality, safety and modernity of our fleet, which will enable us to compete for the transportation of goods together with transport companies from the EU.
We last year overhauled more than 500 freight wagons with our own funds, while this year we plan to repair another 600, as well as overhauling 12 diesel locomotives.
Given the appearance of an ever increasing number of operators on the rail market, and with the aim of preserving its position, Srbija Kargo a.d. approached the concluding of strategic, multi-year contracts
What can you tell us about the new project with company GEFCO, which has redirected the transport of road vehicles via Serbia?
– The high quality services, prices, modern organisation and safety that we provide customers prompted company GEFCO, a European leader in auto-logistics, to redirect the transport of cars along the transit route through Serbia, instead of the pre-existing route via Hungary. Trains will transport cars produced by the two largest manufacturers from Romania to Venice. Our cooperation began at the end of January this year, when the first test train was successfully dispatched via the Vršac border crossing, while the transport of several hundred auto-trains is envisaged for 2019.
Otherwise, in order to improve our services and with the aim of ensuring safety and reliability, we engaged a special agency dealing in physical and technical security to accompany these transports.
What is your company’s commitment to intermodal transport?
– We are aware of the fact that intermodal transport has an ever increasing role in the overall rail market in Europe. In accordance with this, we have a tendency to also improve our operations in this area. Serbia Cargo’s commercial policy and technological/organisational activities in the domain of intermodal transport have led to a marked increase in the number of intermodal transport units transported. The main container flows from southeast to central and western Europe are transported via Serbian rail routes, and are realised by our company specifically.
Standing out as the most important project in this area is the container transport of Cosco trains from the Port of Piraeus to EU countries and vice versa. More than 700 container trains were transported last year, while there has also been a notable increase in the volume of container transport via the Port of Rijeka.