ERS Railways celebrated the 2nd anniversary of its Rotterdam – Poznan shuttle. Since the beginning back in May 2012 ERS Railways has run more than 800 trains between P&O Ferries terminal/Stena Line terminal (Europoort) and Rotterdam RSC (Waalhaven) and CLIP Terminal in Swarzędz, nearby Poznań. During these two years of offering this direct shuttle service more than 25.000 truck loads have been transported by ERS Railways, thus transferred from road to rail.
“We see that our decision back in 2012 to open a regular intermodal connection between Western Poland and the Port of Rotterdam has proven to be the right one”, says Frank Schuhholz, Managing Director of ERS Railways.
“The continuous growth in volumes enables us to offer a daily connection between these two important European regions”, says Lucas Witalis, General Manager ERS Railways Poland. “We are going to increase the service from five to six round trips per week as of June 2014.”
Installing the 6th round trip will make it possible to offer a Sunday departure ex CLIP Terminal, allowing customers to avoid the weekend driving restrictions on this corridor. Moreover, installing the 6th round trip will also be beneficial to the planning of supply chains of our customers during the summer months, when Polish road authorities implement driving restrictions with regard to heavy truck transport.
Shuttle connection proves its competitiveness
“Given the fact that the shuttle travels the distance of 1.000 km in around 22 hours we are able to compete with purely road based supply chains”, adds Wesley Hartman, Sales Executive at ERS Railways in The Netherlands.
The short transit time is based on through running multi system locomotives which avoid lengthy handover processes at the respective borders. The wagon sets ERS Railways uses consist of double pocket wagons, capable of transporting e.g. (mega) trailers as well as container platform wagons.
Sulphur Emission Control Areas; SECA
By having installed this intermodal connection ERS Railways feels well prepared for the upcoming changes with the North and Baltic Sea regions, where the so called Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA) will be implemented as per January 1st 2015, putting pressure on costs for short sea based transport solutions.
Experts from Drewry Consultants estimate that the costs will increase by a minimum of $120,00 per TEU, due to the more expensive fuel which needs to be used as well as due to the additional technical installations which are needed to be installed in the ships to meet the stricter sulphur exhaust limits.
“We sense that this topic has not been given enough attention yet amongst shippers as well as forwarders and logistic service providers”, states John van den Broeke, responsible for Sales in the Benelux region at ERS Railways.
“Given the short time frame till year end to either accept higher costs per TEU when choosing for short sea transport or choose for a competitive rail based solution between Poland and Rotterdam we at ERS expect that demand for our intermodal shuttle will further increase during the upcoming months”, adds Frank Schuhholz. “Moreover, short sea transport between Poland and the UK will also become more expensive, whilst ERS Railways offers a fast and reliable alternative by offering rail transport between Poland and Europoort, making it possible to catch the ferry the same day as the day of arrival in Rotterdam. We can offer a transit time between Poland and the UK of only four days”.