The Ukrainian Railways public joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) increased its fleet of grain hopper wagons by 22% to 18,430 in the period of January-July 2018. Ukrzaliznytsia’s acting head Yevhen Kravtsov, announced this in a statement, the CFTS reports, citing the Ukrzaliznytsia portal.

According to Kravtsov, private owners of rolling stock also increased their fleets of grain carriers during this period.

"They have purchased 1,056 grain hopper wagons from domestic wagon manufacturing plants (26 more than they purchased in the entire 2017) since the beginning of this year alone,” Kravtsov said.

According to Kravtsov, Ukrzaliznytsia plans to change the concept for transportation of grain cargoes in the 2018/2019 marketing year.

"We need to increase the number of unit-train shipments of grain cargoes from 10 to 20 per day. Such shipments will take 80% of the existing fleet. This will reduce the turnover of wagons that are on the move, being loaded, or in unloaded state and limit cargo owners’ desire to use the company's wagons as warehouses on wheels at port stations. In general, routing will increase the number of grain shipments in a planned month," he said, adding that such a step will allow the market to plan cargo transportation better.

As reported, Ukrzaliznytsia raised the fee for use of its wagons by 0.9-21%, depending on the type of wagon, in July. However, Ukrainian agricultural market participants are dissatisfied with the unpredictability of the distribution of grain wagons. The Employers' Federation of Ukraine has also appealed to the company's management to introduce a new tariff system for the use of wagons. According to the federation, the current system is discriminatory towards shippers.