Poland should reap benefits of Małaszewicze as much as possible
Despite the development of the alternative routes on the New Silk Road, the conventional corridor is of great importance in moving containers between Asia and Europe. In this regard, the Małaszewicze Reloading Region in eastern Poland is crucial for smooth and reliable intermodal services. What are the challenges to this and how to tackle them?
“Małaszewicze is a treasure… The Polish state should reap benefits from that place as much as possible,” Andrzej Sokolewicz, CEO of Cargotor, said during the first day of the conference “Railway border crossings – a key to export and transit” taking place on 20-22 October in Janów Podlaski. Cargotor, a subsidiary of PKP Cargo, is responsible for managing the rail infrastructure of the Małaszewicze Reloading Region and, as a result, it is focused on benefits from the location and the development of its opportunities. Therefore, Cargotor intends to build a new logistics park in Małaszewicze to reinforce its significance on the New Silk Road.
Read more about the Małaszewicze Logistics Park:
New milestone towards creation of Małaszewicze Logistics Park
However, the development of Małaszewicze is important not only for Cargotor or PKP Cargo. There are many parties that are interested in this. “Małaszewicze unites all of us,” Monika Łupińska, CEO of Ecco Rail, aptly pointed out. Us means customers, rail freight operators, freight forwarders, custom agencies, regional authorities and many others. “I would like to remind you that Małaszewicze generates over 5 billion zloty of income to the state budget annually,” Krzysztof Iwaniuk, the mayor of Terespol Municipality, specified. No wonder the Polish authorities, especially in Lublin Voivodeship, are deeply concerned about the development of this intermodal hub. “Regarding Małaszewicze you can absolutely rely on us,” said Marek Krakowski, director of the department for infrastructure at the Office of the Marshal of the Lublin Voivodeship.
Main reasons for delays
Mirosław Antonowicz, former CEO of PKP S.A. and the chairman of the OSJD Committee Directorate, devoted his presentation to the main reasons for the delays in Małaszewicze and the possible solutions to them. The Organisation for cooperation between railways (OSJD) monitors the situation on border crossings along the entire New Silk Road. According to Mirosław Antonowicz, the congestion and delays in transhipping containers happen not only in Małaszewicze but also on the border crossings between China and Kazakhstan as well as China and Russia. This impacts the work of the intermodal terminals in Małaszewicze.
However, the main causes for the delays at border crossings on the New Silk Road, including the Polish hub, have other roots. Among them are many parties involved in the process, diversity of control proceedings, inefficient exchange of information, different and sometimes contradictory interests of the various parties. “That concerns all the border crossings that work on the way from China to Europe,” Mirosław Antonowicz emphasised.
As for possible solutions to tackle the mentioned issues, OSJD proposes to improve the cooperation between the authorities and logistics companies from the various countries involved in moving containers on the New Silk Road. The improvement of cooperation was also a topic of the presentation made by Andrzej Sokolewicz. He divided the parties that participate in the New Silk Road transport into three groups: railway undertakings, freight forwarders and terminal operators. Each of them is focused on some specific tasks.
According to Cargotor’s CEO, the delays on the border crossings happen when one of the three groups works inefficiently. In his speech, Andrzej Sokolewicz paid special attention to the unprecedented situation that occurred in Małaszewicze in September of the current year. As he pointed out, 90 pairs of trains did not run via Małaszewicze due to lack of cooperation between that troika. In this case, most of the problems were caused by railway undertakings or freight forwarders. Therefore, Andrzej Sokolewicz called for better cooperation between all the infrastructure users in Małaszewicze to support its current status and create options for further development.