1 Apr 2024 15:34

Loading on Russian Railways network declines 3.5%, freight turnover 6.8% in March - RZD

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - Loading on the OJSC Russian Railways network declined 3.5% year-on-year to 105.3 million tonnes in March 2024, RZD said.

Freight turnover decreased 6.8% year-on-year to 220.4 billion tariff tonne-km in March 2024. Taking into account the distance of empty railcars, freight turnover decreased 7% year-on-year to 273.5 billion tonne-km during the same time.

According to operational data, loading declined 3.1% year-on-year to 295.9 million tonnes in January-March 2024.

Specifically, the railways in January-March 2024 loaded coal totaling 86.8 million tonnes (-5.4% year-on-year), coke totaling 2.9 million tonnes (+4.6%), oil and petroleum products totaling 53.3 million tonnes (-1.7%), iron and manganese ore totaling 26.5 million tonnes (-5.7%), ferrous metals totaling 15.9 million tonnes (-4.4%), scrap ferrous metals totaling 2 million tonnes (-19.5%), chemical and mineral fertilizers totaling 17.1 million tonnes (+12.1%), cement totaling 4.6 million tonnes (+1%), timber cargo totaling 7 million tonnes (+0.9%), grain totaling 8.2 million tonnes (+8.3%), construction materials totaling 25.6 million tonnes (-17.3%), non-ferrous ore and sulfur raw materials totaling 4.1 million tonnes (-6.5%), chemicals and soda totaling 5.4 million tonnes (-0.8%), industrial raw materials and molding materials totaling 7.5 million tonnes (+20.9%), and other materials, including cargo in containers, totaling 28.9 million tonnes (+3.1%).

Freight turnover decreased 7.2% year-on-year to 628.8 billion tariff tonne-km in January-March 2024, and freight turnover declined 7.4% year-on-year to 780.9 billion tonne-km in January-March 2024 when accounting for the distance of empty railcars.

"The main shortfall in the total loading volume occurred owing to a reduction in demand for transporting export coal to the ports of the Azov-Black Sea basin for reasons that lie in the interaction of cargo owners with the sea terminals," Russian Railways said.

The company also said that severe frosts and snowdrifts on the side of shippers and consignees led to a reduction in the supply of goods, including construction and ferrous metals. Problems with unloading owing to freezing of coal and fuel oil required implementing loading restrictions to the ports of the North-West.

"Diverting the locomotive fleet for maintenance also had a negative impact. Russian Railways coordinates the work with service companies, and, if necessary, locomotives are promptly redeployed from other sections of the network," the company said.

A source familiar with the company's activities told Interfax earlier that the average daily loading on the Russian Railways network decreased 3.5% to 3,395.9 tonnes in March 2024. Meantime, the company fulfilled the loading plan for March at 3,390 tonnes on average per day. Average daily loading for April is planned at 3,421 tonnes.