682 - Kapıkule - EksperRail Freight

Refugee problem threatens rail freight to Europe

Illegal refugee traffic seems to start considering rail traffic between Turkey and Europe. Last week, 17 refugees were captured at border, in a 45’ rail container.

It was also discovered recently that tank container was used for illegal border crossing from Turkey. The chose of container, method to enter inside and equipment used point at an effective illegal organization behind. Because of this risk, one container operator did not load any tank container onto its last train.

Tank containers are the back bone of the container trains where mainly chemicals are transported. There are many critical consequences of usage of tank containers in illegal refugee traffic. The biggest one is, of course, the health problems for refugees which may end up with death.

Another risk is the modal shift of chemical loads which are very sensitive to any affect from outside (air, liquid etc) and easily can become unusable. If chemical loads start to chose other modals, container trains will most probably depart less frequently and charge more.

In recent years, the illegal refugee traffic effected also trailer trains as well. Mars and Ulusoy had ended their trailer trains and shifted their loads to Ro-Ro connected intermodal lines.

Rail freight between Europe and Turkey had suffered from postponed ferry service, engineering works and giving service from terminals far away from Istanbul. Thus a number of precautions are now on the table to prevent further impacts like speeding up trains which wait about 5-6 hours for customs, technical checks and loco change at Kapikule, increasing security at terminal and x-ray detection at border crossing.

Cover Photo: Eksper Rail ©

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