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Estonian rail freight carrier EVR Cargo hauled 11.6 million tons in 2015

Estonian state-owned rail freight carrier EVR Cargo hauled 11.6 million tons in 2015, falling 4.2 million tons or 26.6 behind the 2014 result. 

EVR Cargo’s acting chairman of the management board Paul Lukka said that last year can be characterised by an extensive reduction in freight flows in nearly all commodity groups. “We were mostly impacted by the economic situation in the East, but low electricity prices also decreased the demand for oil shale transport in the domestic market,” said Lukka. EVR Cargo forecasts a 5 per cent decrease in freight volumes for 2016, as increased competition in the region and in Estonia internally will likely result in lower transport volumes of oil products.

EVR Cargo is however planning a number of major investments for 2016, including the modernisation of shunting locomotives, the gradual upgrading of the wagon pool and the overhaul of wagons. The building of a new wagon cleaning and painting unit at Tapa Depot will also be completed this year.

Fertilisers became the largest commodity group for EVR Cargo last year for the first time ever, with freight volumes increasing by 11.2 per cent to 3.72 million tons. “Estonia serves as an attractive transport corridor for the fertiliser producers in northwest Russia due to the quality of service, transport management and terminal operations, therefore we remain hopeful that a moderate positive trend will continue in the coming year as well,” commented Lukka. Fertilisers were followed by mineral liquid fuels with 3.71 million tons, down 42 per cent compared to last year. Oil shale volumes dropped by 37 per cent to 1.68 million tons, the volume of chemical goods decreased by 15 per cent to 1.05 million tons and dry bulk cargo volumes dropped by 47 per cent to 376 thousand tons. 

The volume of container traffic in 2015 reached 44.812 TEUs, decreasing 40 per cent year-on-year. “Last year’s container traffic volume reflects the current situation of economic relations between Russia and the rest of the world, we must remain conservative in our estimates for this year as well due to reduced import volumes to Russia and increased competition with Russia’s own ports in the area,” added Lukka. 

Russia was the largest trade partner for EVR Cargo in 2015 with 6.07 million tons, decreasing 18 per cent compared to 2014. Belarus’s trade volume increased by 54 per cent to 942 thousand tons, while Latvian volumes dropped by 63 per cent to 487 thousand tons. Trade exchange with Lithuania increased respectively by 69 per cent to 690 thousand tons, while Kasahstan’s share decreased by 88 per cent to 205 thousand tons. Transit volumes decreased by 25 per cent to 7.21 million tons, forming 62 per cent of the total freight volume. 


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