VR Transpoint’s transports at a good level despite the exceptional situation
The effects of the coronavirus on VR Transpoint’s freight traffic have been more moderate than expected so far, and transport volumes have remained at a good level even during the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Together, VR Transpoint and Fertilog have built a transport system that transports up to 2.6 million tonnes per year. There has been excellent development regarding work-related accidents at VR Transpoint as the work-related accident rate has remained at zero for a year now.
The railway transport volumes of VR Transpoint in January–September stayed nearly the same as last year and were 26.9 (27.6) million tonnes. In road transport, the transported volume was 2.6 (2.6) million tonnes, showing a decrease of 0.7 per cent from the previous year.
So far, the effects of the coronavirus on logistics have been moderate, even if there are many uncertainties in the outlook due to the epidemic and the changes in demand it has caused.
“We have ensured that industry transports run smoothly during the crisis. In exceptional times, the importance of a stable operator is emphasised even more,” says VR Transpoint’s Senior Vice President Martti Koskinen.
Eastern traffic as a whole has been running well during 2020.
“Our operations have worked well and, in addition, we have acquired new traffic. After the improvements to the Vainikkala railway yard and track infrastructure, we are able to receive and pull even longer trains than before. Bigger train compositions improve traffic efficiency and environmental friendliness,” says Koskinen.
Growth in transit traffic through cooperation
Transferring well over one million tonnes of fertiliser from different parts of Russia to the port of HaminaKotka requires an efficient transport system, which VR Transpoint and Fertilog, a company specialised in transit transport, have perfected together. Fertilog’s capacity for fertiliser traffic will increase to over two million tonnes and capacity for liquid bulk transit to 600,000 tonnes a year when the company’s new fertiliser and liquid bulk servicing terminals are completed at Mussalo harbour next year. VR Transpoint is responsible for Fertilog’s transports on Finland’s side of the border and has been involved in planning the tracks serving the new terminals.
Fertiliser arrives at Vainikkala border station in full trains daily from Russia. These are pulled to Mussalo harbour using new Vectron electric locomotives in even bigger compositions.
“It is great that the long-term and close cooperation between our companies is paying off and increasing. Doubling capacity requires a strong performance from us. For example, efficient implementation of railway yard operations and traffic planning together with the customer,” says Vice President, Sales and Marketing at VR Transpoint Tero Kosonen.
“Cooperation with VR Transpoint has worked well. For example, we have managed to increase nearly one hundred per cent of our traffic to full trains. Also, cooperation regarding investments has been constructive. Our next common objective is to get a 25-tonne axle load for the whole Vainikkala-Mussalo railway section. This is an important competitive factor for transit traffic,” says the General Director of Fertilog Group Finland Larisa Lisitsyn.
Work-related accident rate at zero
At VR Transpoint, there is ongoing positive development in the work-related accident rate. At present, VR Transpoint has achieved its best ever score when it comes to the work-related accident rate as the rate has remained at zero for a year now (2019: 23 cases). The work-related accident rate is calculated by the number of work-related accidents affecting the frequency per one million working hours.
“Every work-related accident is one too many, and we all have the right to go home healthy. Safety means working together, taking care of each other and addressing deficiencies when necessary. Our long-term and continuous efforts to improve occupational safety can now be witnessed in the excellent safety results,” says Koskinen.