On May 21, 2021, for the first time in its history, the Arkhangelsk Region-based Onega Sawmills (Segezha Group PJSC, a subsidiary of Sistema PJSFC) has sent a high-speed container train along the Onega—Grodekovo—Ganzhou Guojigang (China) route. Sixty-two forty-foot containers, carrying a total of 2,850 cubic meters of export lumber, were shipped to the Chinese customers. Haulage is organized by Swift-Rus Ltd. Once the containers reach the border, they will be loaded onto Chinese rail cars which will take them to their destination. The transportation time will take 15–20 days, which is 4–5 times faster than by sea. The plant has further plans for the route, intending to ship two freight trains per month.
“The dispatch of the first container train to China by Onega Sawmills is an important step, which allows to switch part of the cargo traffic to direct railway communication and remove the corresponding cargo volumes from the traditional sea route through St. Petersburg”, comments Andrey Yudin, Director of Logistics of Segezha Group PJSC. “The container train to China consists of several batches of lumber for different customers at different destinations in China. This logistic scheme allows for more efficient and faster dispatch of the train from the plant. This type of transportation is also quite competitive in comparison with sea routе and can become regular“.
“The launch of container shipping is always interesting because the equipment for dispatching freight trains must be built up from scratch. And ultimately, what we get in the end is not just a whole new form of logistics for the enterprise but also, in a way, a whole new type of product, as the product cost changes, new sales models emerge, our consumer outreach expands, and our product range gets an update,” notes Ilya Mezhevoy, Deputy Development Officer at Swift-Rus Ltd.