Railway wagons to Kazakhstan with express speed

The usual three-week delivery time was cut down to 5 days

Freight One Scandinavia (FOS) played a key role in a transportation chain, where 17 passenger train wagons, manufactured by the Spanish Talgo, were shipped to the Kazakhstan railways. The wagon frames were transported with VO wagons with express speed: when the usual transportation time from the Finnish-Russian border is three weeks, this time the cars were ordered to be at their destination in less than five days. This was possible only with special project management expertise of oversized transportations.

FOS’s customer in the transportation was Agility Logistics, which organized the shipping from Talgo’s factory to the port of Bilbao, and from there further to the port of Hamina in Finland. The loading to gondola wagons, arranged by FOS, was done in Hamina by Steveco.

The client had chosen the Port of HaminaKotka for the transportation hub because of sufficient capacity and location – it is the biggest port in Finland and is located near the Russian border.

FOS’s mission was to deliver according to the schedule 17 VO wagons, owned by the Russian OAO PGK, to Steveco’s track in the port of Hamina. Besides this, FOS’s duty was to handle all the freight charges to the destination and to fill the waybills. FOS also co-operated with VR, OAO PGK and the Kazakhstan railways in organizing the block train transportation, arranging the special transportation permits and scheduling, controlling the loading process, and arranging the border crossing. FOS was also responsible for handling the communication in different languages between the different parties, which was an essential part of the project management.

- Our duty was also to ensure that the wagons continue their journey from the Buslovskaya border station without any problems. To fulfill the loading requirements, we organized for several days the deputy chief of Buslovskaya to the port of Hamina to supervise the loading, says Konstantin Naumov, the Deputy Managing Director of FOS.

- To avoid possible customs problems, we provided copies of all the transportation bills and invoices in advance to the customs officials of the Buslovskaya station. Because this was the first consignment of a larger project, the loading in Hamina was also supervised by the representatives of the wagon manufacturer and the end customer, the Kazakhstan railways. We strove from the early morning until late evening with an international teamwork, with a result of a secure, fast and straightforward railway transport from Finland to Kazakhstan, Naumov says.

- The biggest challenge of the transport was the tight schedule. The ship from Bilbao arrived at the port on November 16th, and the wagon frames were supposed to be in Astana within the following week. Normally this takes about three weeks, Naumov continues.

In co-operation with OAO PGK and VR, which are the co-owners of FOS, and the Kazakhstan railways, a special timetable was organized for a block train transportation with one engine – with very high average velocity. The route was also quite exceptional – the train was routed to the main track from St. Petersburg to Moscow and further to Kazakhstan. Usually freight traffic is directed to a longer route and the main track is only used for passenger traffic.

- The freight departed from Hamina to Vainikkala on Monday evening, November 21st. All the border controls and special transportation inspections were done at Buslovskaya station within few hours at night, and already at 10.05 Tuesday morning the train departed from Buslovskaya.

On Saturday morning on November 26th at 6.30 local time the train arrived its destination at Sorokovaya station in Astana. The whole schedule was eventually fulfilled within a one-hour timeframe.

The 17 wagon delivery was merely the first stage in the co-operation between the parties. Between 2011-2013 total number of about 400 passenger wagons will be delivered to Kazakhstan. This international project in organized by the Kazakhstan railways.

- Every time when wagons will be delivered, it will be a showcase for not only FOS, but for the Finnish logistics reputation as a whole. It requires extraordinary project management skills to succeed, and we have this experience. Not a single link of chain in this challenging delivery process is allowed to fail, Naumov says.