109 - Kapıkule Terminali - OnurRailway Companies

Container trains from Turkey to Europe – II

In addition to companies having direct regular rail container services between Turkey and Europe, there are some other companies which are indirectly in this traffic.

Rail Cargo Logistics

Rail Cargo Logistics (formerly Express Interfracht), used to keep a huge volume in Turkey until last year and was second in Turkey-Europe traffic list in 2012. Unlike others, Express Interfracht was not acting like an operator working only with forwarders, but having direct contacts to end clients in Turkey as well. Although not announced officially, 3 trains/week had been achived during last year.

As a part of cooperation with Balo, Rail Cargo Logistics now seems to limit its self-owned container activities in Turkey in 2014 and start using Balo trains except the “client-owned” full container trains.

DB Schenker Rail

DB Schenker Rail had operated a container+swapbody train from Cerkezkoy for a while with the name “Bosphorus Shuttle”, which was formerly the swapbody train of Omfesa, joint venture company of Omsan Logistics and Transfesa.

Due to congestion and delays, as announced, Bosphorus Shuttle had been stopped at the end of last year. Instead, DB Schenker started to cooperate with EWNS, which had a weekly container vessel to Constanta from Gemlik. Containers and swapbodies were planned to be distributed to all Europe by Schenker’s rail network. After a short trial period, the service stopped.

DB Schenker Rail is expected to restart its container train service directly to Turkey, probably after opening of Halkali Terminal.

Europe Intermodal

Europe Intermodal was one of the “old” intermodal operators, a joint venture between the German Kombiverkehr and the Slovenian Adria Kombi. Europe Intermodal container trains run regularly since 2008, but stopped departing from Turkey last year.

Since Kombiverkehr and Adria Kombi’s new solution of container trains from Trieste has faced with a big demand, all loads of this traffic now shifts to Trieste solution where containers are taken from Pendik Port to Trieste Port by UN RoRo.

Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©

4 replies »

  1. Regarding your report we have some question marks in our mind . Could you please kindly help ?


    1) We know that all of them are not operators ? forexample balo uses interfracht . is it correct ?
    2) Which ones are real rail operators?
    3) Are nonoperators providing only empty container equipments ?
    4) Which one of them do have their own containers ?
    5) If balo is not a rail operator what is the difference of expanding weekly service from 3 train to 5 ? at the end the service availability is limited with service provided by the operator ; is it correct?
    6) We understood that tcdd pulls all the wagons upto border and then they are transhipped to rail operators . at this point weekly amount of train/wagon/container of operators from the border to europe gives us the weekly total volume and movement in the market ? how much is this volume ?
    7) What is the max wagon the train can pull ?

    thank you

    • Let me answer one of your questions. Others should better be answered by operators:
      Who pays the whole train (wagon rents, traction, terminal costs etc) is the real operator. It doesn’t matter who pulls the train. Balo is a real operator based on that definiton, in my opinion.

  2. Dear Kagan Bey,
    This is Erkan from BALO and I’ll try to clarify your questions for intermodal trains and about BALO.
    You can find our answers for your questions as below;
    1) Express Interfracht has changed its name to Rail Cargo Logistics and they are acting as freight forwarding company since beginning of this year. We, as BALO, are in cooperation with RCA (Rail Cargo Austria) for traction services in Europe that is also neutral operator just like BALO.
    2) We completely agree with Onur Bey about the description of intermodal operators. So you can choose which one is the real rail operator.
    3) It differs from company to company. We, as BALO, are accepting SOC (Shippers own container) and we are also providing empty container (45’ HC PW Box) in case of a demand.
    4) We have empty containers in terminals at stock and we can provide from Duisburg, Ludwigshafen, Giengen, Vienna, Sopron in European side and Tekirdag, Istanbul (European & Asian side), Bandirma, Manisa, Izmir, Eskisehir, Ankara and Konya in Turkey.
    5) Expanding weekly trains per direction make sense for better service quality (frequency, transit time, capacity, etc.) and service availability is based on directly to demand and infrastructure (rail, terminal, regulations of transit countries, etc.)
    6) Yes, you are right about traction in Turkey, TCDD is the only authorised rail company regarding Turkish laws for now. We believe, Onur Bey can assist you about the numbers of intermodal volume.
    7) Maximum wagon quantity is limited with the regulations regarding the length and the weight of the train (incl. wagon, containers and goods), it is directly related to the wagon type.

  3. Thank you for your comments and assistance .
    As you may expect i am only interested in 45′ hp pw box movements .
    i am looking forward for the number o total volume from Onur bey regarding the question number 6 .

    We heard that max wagon can be 34 and each wagon can carry 2 x 45 hp pw . Which means 68 cntr in one train . and if there are 10 trains in total Weekly volume of the market can be say arrond 680 cntr . does it make sense ?

    What about the frequency of Balo from istanbul (tekirdağ) to europe ? is it not shown on your website .

    Best regards ,
    Kagan Gorer


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s