Container Terminal Mostyska: new intermodal hub between China and Europe to appear in Ukraine

2021/11/04 at 9:41 AM

More and more container trains run between Ukraine and China. European logistics providers are interested in developing new routes within the New Silk Road, particularly via this country. This is hampered by the lack of terminal infrastructure on Ukraine’s western border. The planned container terminal in Mostyska may improve the situation. In what way?

For a long time, Ukraine was outside the New Silk Road. Container trains en route from China to Europe bypassed this country due to a number of reasons. The situation began to change in summer 2020 when the first container train arrived from Yantai to Kyiv. Subsequently, the Ukrainian logistics companies arranged rail freight connections between Kyiv and other cities in China. Ukraine’s accession to the New Silk Road has revived discussions about the country’s transit potential and a possible alternative to the congested Brest/Małaszewicze border crossing.

It is obvious that containers from Asia can be transhipped in Ukraine and then transported to the countries of the European Union. European forwarders and customers, whose cargo is often idle at the Belarusian-Polish border, are interested in the development of this route. However, there is a factor that prevents the launch of container trains from China to the EU via Ukraine. It is about the lack of transhipment facilities that can handle containers and combined transport. Two Ukrainian companies, Lemtrans and Rail Trans Investment, decided to remedy this situation by building a new intermodal terminal at the Mostyska-2 station near the Polish border. The project was named Container Terminal Mostyska (CTM). IntermodalNews asked Lemtrans to provide more detailed information about the future terminal.

Visualisation of Container Termnial Mostyska, source: Lemtrans

Features of the project

The Container Terminal Mostyska is being built on the site of a former oil depot located near the Mostyska-2 railway station (the Lviv region), a few kilometres from the border of Ukraine and Poland. The once-abandoned facility is gradually gaining a second life, being transformed into a modern transhipment complex. In general, the project is estimated at 15 million U.S. dollars, all the works are financed by both companies from their own funds.

The design capacity of the terminal at the initial stage is 100,000 TEU. As the dry port develops, Lemtrans will increase its capacity up to 200,000 TEU. CTM’s customers will be able to receive the following range of services: transhipment of various types of cargo in containers from 1520- to 1435-millimetre gauge and vice versa, the option to handle refrigerated containers due to the availability of special equipment, bulk cargo in tank containers, as well as cargo packaging, indoor and outdoor storage of goods, customs clearance etc. Lemtrans creates an infrastructure that will allow all European operators to work on equal terms with the Ukrainian cargo owners. Among other things, the new terminal will serve shuttle trains between Ukraine and the EU. They will carry goods that were previously transported by trucks. Thus, the Ukrainian company will contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions since rail has long been recognised by the European Union as a more environmentally-friendly mode of transport than road transport.

Great prospects

The key feature of Container Terminal Mostyska (CTM) is the availability of tracks of two types, broad and standard. Due to this, the terminal has every chance of becoming the main transport hub not only between Ukraine and Poland but also between Europe and Asia. Now, Lemtrans has been negotiating with the Chinese and European partners on the launch of regular trains moving transit freight from China to Europe and back, as well as for export of the Ukrainian goods, or import of the products from the EU countries. The Ukrainian company has not yet disclosed the details of the negotiations but promised to do this after achieving real results.

Container Termnial Mostyska, source: Lemtrans

According to Lemtrans, the construction of such a terminal will have a positive effect on the development of rail freight transport in Ukraine, will increase the demand for logistics and warehouse services on the Polish-Ukrainian border that can attract additional investments in the related areas of business. Moreover, the emergence of a new transhipment complex will create new jobs in the border areas of the Lviv region, and will also become an incentive for increasing tax revenues to the regional budget.

It should be noted that the project of the intermodal terminal in Mostyska is the starting point for Lemtrans in the development of a network of transhipment complexes within Ukraine. The company is simultaneously launching the construction of container terminals in Fastiv and Vinnytsia. To develop CTM, the company has joined forces with N’UNIT, the Ukrainian container train operator. The scope of the partnership is determined by the synergy of joining the CTM project to the N’UNIT network of intermodal services. At the same time, the container terminal in Mostyska will be the point for accepting and dispatching the regular container trains to other terminals, as well as to the seaports of Ukraine and Europe.

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