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Digital quality

The Russian Railways will bring new freight transportation services to the market

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In 2023, the Russian Railways will continue to pursue technological independence. The railway company will present several new services at once for its clients, business representatives, colleagues in the transport and logistics sector and major domestic exporters. These products will enable shippers to improve freight transportation efficiency, optimize business processes and increase financial performance.

Some of the new services to be launched in 2023 include: ordering transportation services in container train "Rossiya" and service "Cellular Container" (joint projects with the Russian Post), multimodal freight transportation "Multilog" and the "Carbon Footprint" service. In addition, the company plans to develop its flagship projects – information technology INTERTRAN, electronic trading platform "Freight Transportation", and "Commodity Supply Operator" (a joint project with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service and St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange). 

Innovations in freight transportation 

Alexander Voroshnin, deputy head, Russian Railways Center for Corporate and Transport Service (CCTS), told 1520 International that in 2023 the holding company will continue working on a digital service that would enable customers to order freight services in the constantly running container train Rossiya. 

"Since the project was launched in April 2022, over 40 trains have passed through the network and transported more than 5,200 TEUs (the equivalent of a 20-foot container – editorial comment)," he noted.

The company's second joint project with the Russian Post is "Cellular Container". This service allows customers to buy a fixed place in stackable shipping containers on the Rossiya train. The service will benefit small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). At the first stage of the project, cargo can be transported from Moscow to Vladivostok, and in the future to Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen, Yekaterinburg and Kazan. 

Alexander Voroshnin also spoke about development of the high-speed (up to 140 km/h) container transportation segment. Under the project, the Federal Freight (a branch of the Russian Railways) will buy 41 high-speed 80-foot platforms in 2023, after which there will be a pilot transportation. 

In 2023, the company's customers will be able to order the multimodal freight transportation system "Multilog". With this service, customers can, in a convenient digital format, choose the best options for door-to-door cargo transportation, automatically calculate their cost and place an order.

In addition, the Russian Railways CCTS said it plans to enter into a terminal and logistics partnership in 2023 through an offer agreement with ports, terminals and interaction with owners of non-public tracks. This would enable the Russian Railways to expand its service portfolio and build new interaction formats.

Adapting to geopolitical conditions 

The Russian Railways actively supports domestic exporters. For example, the holding company is working towards forming a "green services portfolio" for the client and is developing the "Carbon Footprint" system (involving information sharing with Electronic Waybill, an automated electronic document management system). The projects are related to the regulation on competitive advantage of companies over foreign exporters in the case where low greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions) from goods production and transportation are confirmed. Test shipments using Carbon Footprint are scheduled for this year.  

Alexander Voroshnin noted that the joint work between the Russian Railways, RZD Logistics and Russian Export Center on developing and implementing a service called "Registration and Receipt of International Transportation Services for Cargo Export" has been completed. The project is based on One Window, an information system from the Russian Export Center, the basis of which was a system for shipping goods produced by Agroexpress, an agroindustrial complex. 

Thanks to the service, customers, including SMEs, can now receive full services and support on international export transportation of Agroexpress products with access to government and business services in the One Window digital format.

Development of flagship projects 

As Kirill Semion, head of Russian Railways' Informatization Department, points out, the company's flagship projects are also developing. The most prominent example is information technology INTERTRAN (in operation since 2018) that has made it possible to order intermodal transport (with all documents processed) with the participation of the Russian Railways, sea line operators, customs authorities, and the consignors and consignees themselves. 

According to Inessa Yakovleva, deputy head of Russian Railways' Informatization Department, who is also the head of automated freight management systems at the company, the service now operates in both domestic and international freight. For example, there are regular shipments from Asia-Pacific countries to Belarus with customs transit clearance. Currently, the company is working on deploying the INTERTRAN-Light technology in the Kazakhstan direction. The Russian Railways is working on this issue jointly with Kazakhstan Temir Joly, the national railway company of Kazakhstan.

Popularity among business partners 

As Nikolay Rezvov, CEO at Digital Logistics, notes, Freight Transportation, an electronic trading platform, has been one of the most popular services for shippers for several years now. For instance, one million shipments were processed through the system last year. 

As of today, over 9,000 customers from 15 countries have registered on the Freight Transportation platform. The most active are shippers from Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Turkey and Mongolia. It is noted that in 2022, stevedoring companies joined the list of Russian Railways business partners. According to preliminary data, foreign customers processed over 24,000 railcar consignments through the platform in 2022, which is 43% higher than that of the previous year. 

Olga Shelkova

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