219 - Ekol intermodal treniRailway Companies

Trailer train wars

Since the first train departed from Trieste in 2008, trailer trains have become more and more popular in Turkey year by year.

The demand for train connections from Trieste had become so attractive that, all players in international transport have gone reorganization considering on this solution. A Ro-Ro company announced connected train services, railway operators invested in equipments for trailers, infrastructure operators invested in developing new routes suitable for trailer trains. Some of terminal operators have become almost dedicated for this intermodal solution. Competetion with trailer trains has changed the market shares of truck companies very fastly and deeply.

Did this war end by now?

No, not at all. On the contrary, the competetion is now spreading out, and already reached to Turkey last summer.

Ulusoy Logistics has started the first trailer train departing directly from Turkey in June. Ulusoy invested in cranable trailers and containers to use in this traffic. The railway operator, DB Schenker Rail, is the company to invest in pocket wagons for this cooperation. Since then the service expands and now has a target of 3 trains/week in each direction in 2015.

Increasing demand for trailer transports by train between Turkey and Europe has made Rail Cargo doing some changes in its services. Rail Cargo had applied a different strategy in Trieste by introducing ISU system. That makes it possible to use trains for all trucking companies even without having cranable trailers. Thus, Rail Cargo started running open service rather than company-dedicated trains from/to Trieste. Now Rail Cargo seems to get prepared expanding similar service to Turkey, by replacing its containers wagons with pocket wagons. So, carrying trailers has already become possible for Rail Cargo in its regular container trains to Turkey. A few trials have already been done successfully.

Mars is heard to be working on a similar project. Having operating weekly trains from Trieste to Luxembourg, a few of them may be routed to Turkey instead of Trieste.

It seems that we’ll not wait much to see more trailer trains on Turkish railways..

Cover Photo: Ekol Logistics ©

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