The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) will give priority to scheduled unit-train shipments, charge an additional fee for such shipments, and invite private operators of grain carriers to create a common pool of wagons in order to ensure transportation of grain cargoes.

Ukrzaliznytsia’s Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov announced this at a meeting with business representatives on September 5, the CFTS portal reports.

According to him, Ukrzaliznytsia will try to facilitate at least 15 unit-train shipments per day during the peak transport season. “We are currently introducing the following order. Firstly, we are giving priority to scheduled shipments. We are setting an additional fee for guaranteed scheduled shipments that is equal to 20% of the cost of transportation. Initially, we do not expect a large number of scheduled shipments... If we reach 3-4 such shipments per day at the end of the season, that will be a great result," Kravtsov said.

“Of the 15 routes, we will offer at least 10 via an open auction on the ProZorro electronic auction platform. The remainder, if any, will be sent to the shippers and elevators that own the access roads,” he said.

In addition, according to Kravtsov, the management of Ukrzaliznytsia is currently holding talks with owners of private fleets of grain wagons with the aim of also including private wagons on the routes that will be distributed in accordance with the new procedure.

According to Ukrzaliznytsia, the maximum number of grain carriers that can be unloaded per day is currently 2,000. Accordingly, the wagon fleets of Ukrzaliznytsia and private operators could facilitate a maximum of 36 scheduled shipments per day.

“With these steps, we will be ready to export 100 million tons in a few years even with the current fleet,” Kravtsov said.

Ukrzaliznytsia intends to introduce this new transportation procedure in the final third of September.