Rail freight transfers in 2019


Coal, oil and natural gas were the most transported goods by rail in 2019. Those categories amounted to 38% of the weight of goods transported last year. Goods from the metal ore groups, mining and fossil products came to 27% of transported weight. Third place was taken by the group consisting of coke, briquette, crude oil refinery products. In 2019 rail freight numbers rose with regard to intermodal transport groups - by 13% as to unidentified goods and by more than 20% as to the weight of machines, appliances, electrical and electronic devices.

In 2019 freight carriers transported 236.4 million tonnes of goods, and transfer service amounted to 55.9 billion tonne-kilometres. These values were lower by 5.5% and 6.3% respectively in comparison to 2018.

In 2019 91 million tonnes of coal, oil and natural gas were transported. The share of this group came to 38% and was lower by 0.6% in relation to 2018. Second place was taken by metal ore groups, mining and fossil products - more than 64 million tonnes, meaning the share of 27% (decline by 0.9%). This group comprises also aggregates, the transported weight of which amounted to 10 million tonnes (decline by 16%). Another group is briquette, coke and crude oil refinery products - almost 28 million tonnes and almost a 12% share (rise by 0.5%). Unidentified goods's group, constituting the biggest volume of remaining goods groups, meant a transfer of almost 16.5 million tonnes and a market share of 7% (rise by 1% and by almost 2 million tonnes).

- The data on freight transfers shows that with regard to rail freight the dominant mode is still mass goods' transfers. One can however observe the rising volume of the unidentified goods group. This category consists mostly of transfers in the frame of container trains. One should consider the intermodal transport as the possibility of further development of rail freight transport - comments Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of the Office of Rail Transport (Pol. Urząd Transportu Kolejowego, UTK). - Q4 of 2019 brought the rise in the level of weight of transported goods in the group consisting of machines, appliances, electrical and electronic devices, but also other finished goods, like furniture - explains Mr. Góra. - This is a good direction, as the sector of railway transport should already today undertake actions to lower the road transport load with regard to consumer goods - he adds.

Q4 2019

The last quarter of 2019 ended with the result of almost 58.8 million tonnes of transported goods. The transfer service amounted to 13.7 tonne-kilometres. In comparison to the corresponding period of 2018 that meant a decline by 7.4% and 10.1% respectively.

In Q4 2019 the carriers transported 23.5 million tonnes of goods in the group consisting of coal, oil and natural gas, with 22.8 million tonnes of just coal. That meant a rise by 1 million tonnes in comparison to the previous quarter. In Q4 the share of this group was at the level of almost 40%. The value of transfer service for this group came to 3.8 billion tonne-kilometres, which meant a rise by almost 200 million tonne-kilometres in relation do Q3 of 2019. The share reached the level of 27.8%.

With regard to metal ore groups, mining and fossil products the carriers in Q4 transported almost 15.2 million tonnes and transfer service amounted to 3.5 billion tonne-kilometres. The share in Q4 transfers came to 25.9% (mass) and 25.8% (operational service). The third most important group consisted of coke, briquette, crude oil refinery products, as well as gases produced industrially. As of that group almost 7 million tonnes of goods were transported in Q4, and transfer service amounted to 2.4 billion tonne-kilometres. The share of this group came to 11.9% and 17.5% respectively.

71 freight carriers offered transport services in Q4 with help of wagons and platform wagons. 9 of them transported more than 1 million tonnes in that period, what amounted to almost 80% of transported mass and almost 79% of operational service. Although the number of rail freight carriers is rising, the market is still a centralised one.

Detailed data is available on the UTK's website under this link (Polish version only).

The final data for 2019 will be available after the Report on the Polish railway market in 2019 will have been published on the UTK's website (on 31 July 2020 at the latest).

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