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The geographical proximity of Poland and Czechia creates good conditions for cooperation. The port of Gdansk tries to be the most accessible and cheapest option for Czech export products and goods. And PKP Cargo, the Polish largest rail freight company, continues to strengthen its presence in neighbouring Czechia by investing in the intermodal facilities.
“A well-functioning network of roads and railways in the country and numerous intercontinental connections lead to very good conditions for strengthening trade between the Port of Gdansk and Czechia. Transport of goods via Gdansk is the cheapest option for Czechia”, said Sławomir Michalewski, Vice-President for Financial Matters of the Gdansk Port Authority, during a visit of Czech delegates in May.
According to Michalewski, the port of Gdansk is able to offer Czech companies more attractive prices than Western European harbours. Currently, the majority of Czech export is handed in Hamburg, connected with Czechia by trains of Metrans, a subsidiary of Hamburg port. The other advantage of Gdansk is its links with Scandinavian countries and the United Kingdom, as well as with Asia.
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Intermodal links of Gdansk port, source: DCT Gdansk.
“Czechia has a huge export potential. Thanks to the purchasing power, we can increase the operating capabilities. The traffic of goods exported from Czechia by sea to countries outside the EU has approximately been 27 per cent of the total export in recent years. The shorter transit time between Gdansk and Czechia as well as the competitive prices in comparison with the ports of Western Europe makes us a suitable trade partner”, noted Michalewski.
The rail freight network of the Gdansk port includes more than a dozen connections with intermodal facilities across Poland. At the same time, the Polish port has a direct link to the Czech town of Paskov located 20 kilometres from the interstate border. Advanced World Transport (AWT), a part of PKP Cargo, is developing an intermodal terminal in Paskov. The facility is regarded as key in strengthening the Polish-Czech trade relations.
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Paskov intermodal terminal in Czechia, source: Advanced World Transport (AWT).
“Today, the Paskov terminal is one of the most important intermodal hubs in Central Europe and very popular among our customers. Since 2007, we are constructing the terminal at the industrial areas of the former Paskov mine. We have just finished the third stage of modernisation”, said Maciej Walczyk, CEO of AWT.
This stage includes the construction of new storage facilities and two new tracks. Currently, the Paskov terminal has a storage area of 70,000 square kilometres with a capacity of 4,800 TEUs, three tracks with a length of 270 metres per each and two tracks with a length of 375 meters.
The fourth and last stage of the terminal modernisation will start in July. It will be completed in 2020. After the final phase, the Paskov terminal will have more tracks, a storage area of 150,000 square kilometres and with a capacity of 10,000 TEUs. Now, the facility is serving five main customers: Maersk, MSC, COSCO, EKOL and LKW Walter. “Currently, in the north-south direction, the most common destinations are the ports of Koper, Trieste and Gdansk. Potential destinations for intermodal transportation could be the semi-trailer trucks from Scandinavia or shipments from the Greek port of Piraeus”, summed up Michal Kubíček, director of the Paskov terminal.
This article first appeared on www.railfreight.com
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