The Dobrá Intermodal Terminal: A Slovak pearl with untapped potential
We are pleased that well-respected foreign media are more and more often attracted by activities of BUDAMAR GROUP. This time a Polish specialized online-magazine IntermodalNews became interested and asked us for an interview.
Ľubomír Loy, Member of the Board of Directors of BUDAMAR LOGISTICS and CCO of BUDAMAR GROUP, talked to IntermodalNews reporter Mykola Zasiadko. Some of the topics of the interview were:
- What are the plans of BULK TRANSSHIPMENT SLOVAKIA, a subsidiary of BUDAMAR LOGISTICS, with intermodal terminal in Dobrá and what is the current situation of the terminal?
- How big is the BUDAMAR LOGISTICS fleet of locomotives and freight wagons?
- How important is Poland for the company´s business?
You can find the interview at the following link: https://intermodalnews.pl/2021/02/19/terminal-intermodalny-dobra-to-slowacka-perla-o-niewykorzystanym-potencjale/. We also offer you the translated version.
* In 2020 BULK TRANSSHIPMENT SLOVAKIA (BTS), a subsidiary of BUDAMAR LOGISTICS, took over the Dobra intermodal terminal near the Ukrainian border. Why did the company decide to rent this facility?
BUDAMAR GROUP considered the possibility of renting this terminal as an outstanding business opportunity. Regarding the fact that the transhipment activities are carried out by our subsidiary BULK TRANSSHIPMENT SLOVAKIA, a.s., the decision was unequivocally made in favor of this company. The aim is to create options of alternative routes of intermodal transport to the Polish and Hungarian routes. The first compact intermodal train in TKD Dobrá was manipulated in February 2020 in cooperation with ZSSK CARGO and METRANS. This route became the basis for development of intermodal transports on the routes of the new Silk Road through Ukraine and Slovakia.
The operator of Dobrá terminal, BTS, is a joint venture of BUDAMAR LOGISTICS and ZSSK CARGO.Preklad do jazyka Angličtina. The lease of the terminal is a logical step for us, regarding further development and modernization of the transhipment station in Čierna nad Tisou, which is currently the largest transhipment point for transportation of iron ore and other bulk commodities to metallurgical companies (which are clients of BUDAMAR LOGISTICS) in the surrounding countries. It is also currently the most modern hub of transshipping from broad-gauge wagons in Europe. As we have managed to modernize transhipment in this segment, we also aim to modernize and develop the site in Dobrá in the intermodal transport segment.
BUDAMAR LOGISTICS, as a shareholder, should stress out that our key priority is the development and promotion of railway freight transport. Railway transport in Slovakia and in the surrounding countries is, from our point of view, transport with the highest economic and mainly ecological potential and room for increasing efficiency. This priority is also in line with the strategy of developing and increasing the importance of railway transport – not only within the Slovak Republic but also within the European Union.
* What was the container traffic in Dobra during 2020? How many containers were handled? How many container trains did the terminal accept in 2020?
In 2020, we successfully managed to meet the requirements of our customers. We managed to keep regular handling of one compact container train per week. Together with other transports, we transhiped a total of 2 430 containers in the Dobrá terminal in 2020.
* Does the Dobra terminal have regular container trains?
Currently, at TKD Dobrá we have one regular train from Chineese Xian for the METRANS company.
* What can you say about the container trains from China?
From our point of view, transport of goods in containers on railway infrastructure is a fast-growing way of transport, that provides its customers plenty of advantages. The main advantage is the time saving aspect and, last but not least, the aspect of ecology.
* How many container trains (or containers) does the Dobra terminal handle per day?
The Dobrá terminal is able to manipulate 430 intermodal units daily, which means 4,5 compact trains. The current maximum capacity of the terminal is 1 575 trains per year.
* Is the company planning to increase the number of container trains running to and via Dobra? What rail freight connections are you regarding as the most prospective ones?
TKD Dobrá is a site that has been waiting for 20 years to benefit from its potential. It is a public terminal which provides not only direct transhipment but also other associated services.
BTS's main interest in TKD Dobrá is clear: ensure competitive services and maximum use of terminal capacity in the future in intermodal transport routes from Asia to Europe and back. For this reason, the company has already made several presentations and is preparing other marketing activities. This makes the terminal visible in internationally recognized forums and exhibitions.
* Did BTS invest in improving the infrastructure of the Dobra terminal in 2020?
After BTS became the new tenant of TKD Dobrá, it was a priority for shareholders to achieve the required reliability and safety at the site. Therefore, it was necessary to carry out the most necessary repairs of technological equipment and infrastructure. Its condition corresponds to the decline of activity in the previous period and its impact on overall maintenance and investments. The expenses on the necessary repairs in the first stage were 365 000 EUR.
* What investment projects will be implemented in Dobra in the coming years?
The next necessary step is to invest in infrastructure, lighting and facilities of the terminal. The sum will be approximately 900 000 EUR. This will ensure safe operation, improved efficiency and sustainability of operation.
In the future, BTS shareholders intend to invest in new technical equipment in order to increase the transhipment capacity of the terminal and to expand the services provided. This would include construction of a logistics center with the necessary facilities for its customers.
It also should be stressed out that support from the state, state administration and self-government is needed for planning the development of the terminal. This chapter includes - since 1992 - the unresolved opening of the Čierna-Solomonovo road border crossing. This has been intended to contribute to further improvement of the transhipment hub as well as for the entire region of Eastern Slovakia.
This is accompanied by the importance of state investments into surrounding road and rail infrastructure. As a matter of fact, only in-time solutions will make us able to compete with routes through Poland and Hungary and make us become an interesting transit point not only on the new Silk Road. At present, the terminal in Dobrá also has a lot of attention from the state, which is aware of its importance and development possibilities within the railway infrastructure of the Slovak Republic.
* Does BUDAMAR LOGISTICS operate its own container trains?
None of BUDAMAR GROUP companies is an intermodal transport operator, but from the point of view of intermodal transport we provide operation of two terminals, TKD Dobrá and also the terminal of Slovenská plavba a prístavy, a.s. (Slovak Shipping and Ports) – a Container terminal in the port of Bratislava. In addition, of course, we provide transport services in rail transport of intermodal transport. The newest line is the transport of road semi-trailers between Rostock and the port of Bratislava for LKW Walter. The company opened a new line (twice a week).
* How many locomotives and freight wagons does BUDAMAR LOGISTICS have?
At BUDAMAR LOGISTICS, we have gradually built a fleet of 90 locomotives and 1 000 wagons. We will only add that the portfolio of our BUDAMAR GROUP includes our own rail carriers in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary (LOKORAIL, CENTRAL RAILWAYS or Inter Cargo).
* Does BUDAMAR LOGISTICS plan to rent another intermodal terminal in Slovakia or elsewhere?
We consider and evaluate all investment opportunities. However, we do not comment on any potential investments in advance.
* How important is Poland for the company's business?
We have been present in Poland for several years. We develop our services through Inter Cargo and we were able to build a transport company with a significant market share while we declare to grow on this market.