Intermodal container transport
WHY CONTAINER TRANSPORT?
Container transport is very popular. It allows shipping goods over long distances, between continents, using various types of transport. The goods are safe all the time due to the fact that they are placed in a closed box and nobody touches them during transport.
The containers are unified, the same containers are used all over the world and for all types of transport. This allows for the development of permanent logistics schemes.
When planning cooperation with a counterparty from Central Asia, the Caucasus, it is also worth considering the option of container transport. It has the advantages of road transport: the ability to ship from door to door without transshipment of goods, which ensures their safety, at the same time it often turns out to be more cost-optimal. On the other hand, the transit time is longer. Therefore, each case should be considered individually.
FOR WHOM CONTAINER TRANSPORT CAN BE PARTICULARLY GOOD?
If the good is a production line, equipment for trade fairs, furniture and building materials for a specific construction. First of all, the Consignor can load even the smallest things into containers and secure them properly due to product knowledge. Secondly, transport in own or rented containers allows not to unload the goods immediately upon arrival, but store them at the site of installation, construction, trade fair.
There are specific weight restrictions on each part of the route.
E.g. in Europe a standard container truck chassis can carry up to 24 tons. So the weight of the cargo together with the weight of the container cannot be higher than 24 tons. This limits some of our Customers who ship heavy and low-volume goods (tiles, engine oils, paints).
On the other hand, the broad-gauge railway accepts up to 26 tons of goods in a container, i.e. for heavy loads referred to above, we use a multimodal transport solution: we deliver the goods by truck to the railway terminal and load 26 tons of goods into the container. In this way, we optimize transport costs by shipping 4 tons more in the container than could be transported by truck, e.g. to Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan.
Containers on truck chassis or rail can also be shipped to European ports, the rail allows for a greater weight of goods.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
As a rule, on the route “Europe-East”, the following option turns out to be profitable for our Clients: container delivery on a truck chassis or first by ship (the so-called “short sea”) and then by truck to the transshipment terminal at the eastern border of Poland and in the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia), in Belarus, Ukraine with access to the broad gauge (1520 mm). After delivery to the terminal, we transship the container to the railway platform.
The container travels by broad-gauge rail to the destination station, where, as a rule, it is the Consignee who is responsible for unloading, import customs clearance and delivery of goods directly to his warehouse. If European exporters ask for advice, we do not advise them to choose such terms of delivery according to which the Consignor is responsible for delivery to the Consignee’s door and taking care of import clearance. The Consignee will definitely cope with this task better, being there, knowing the laws and rules in his country, city, station.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING THE RAILWAY PART OF THE ROUTE?
In the case of shipments to the East, multimodal rail transport has many advantages over road transport:
- container capacity,
- the price may be more attractive,
- less dependence on weather conditions, road quality,
- less noticeable “human” factor,
- the railway is working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RAIL FREIGHT FORWARDER?
When choosing a transport company, it is worth paying attention to experience in transportation and transshipment of a similar group of goods, due to the knowledge of regulations regarding the transport of e.g. dangerous, phytosanitary, veterinary, very delicate goods, etc.
What are the types of containers?
20 and 40 feet containers, 40 High Cube are used to ship to the East. These are standard types, they can be private (belonging to the Consignor, Consignee or Logistic Operator, ship-owner) or state. We use containers owned by Belarusian, Lithuanian and sometimes Ukrainian railways to organize transport. Ship-owners rarely give permission to ship their container to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other Central Asian countries and the Caucasus.
CONCERNS ABOUT TRANSHIPMENT
Clients’ greatest concerns are often related to transshipment, so when choosing rail freight forwarder and transshipment terminal, their competences should be carefully checked. See how and where we transship.
WHAT WILL BRING ADDITIONAL CALM?
Additional calm is ensured by Cargo insurance throughout the entire shipment route. The institutional clause A has the widest scope, in addition to transport risk, it also includes the risk of storage.
Tracking systems for wagons, trucks, containers allow you to be up to date and prepare for unloading and import clearance.
CHOOSING THE PLACE OF CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
When exporting goods to third countries, the question of export customs clearance appears. It is worth remembering that when planning each shipment, you should specify the place of clearance, as there are different requirements for exporters, consignees, Customs Offices, etc.
Customs clearance can be done anywhere in the European Union, however, as the rail freight forwarder, we advise you to do it in the country of residence of the exporter, so that there will be no difficulties with proving the export of the goods later.
When loading container in the exporter’s warehouse, when it is placed on a truck container chassis, customs clearance should be done near the place of loading, at the customs agency known for years.
However, if we’ve chosen the option with goods transshipment at the railway terminal, we advise to make customs clearance while transshipment into a container at a border customs agency. At each border crossing point we cooperate with proven customs agencies. Each of these agencies will help in obtaining the EORI exporter number, register the company in the PDR system, issue a customs declaration (EX1, T1), certificates of origin, help in the selection of customs codes.