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Published: 13 December 2008
Cemat restructures service offer
Italy’s leading intermodal rail operator is focusing even more on international services. Other operators are also taking new initiatives
Cemat, Italy’s UIRR member company and its leading combi-rail company, has further reduced its national service offer and increased its transalpine activity on the Munich-Cervignano axis.
Last month Cemat reduced the number of domestic services between Milan and Catania (Bicocca) to two pairs/week. It also halved the number of weekly train pairs on the Bolonga/Lamezia-Milazzo-Catania axis to two, while the number on the busy Torino/Bologna-Bari line was cut to five.
On the other hand, the number of weekly train pairs between Germany (Munich) and Cervignano (Friuli-Venazia) has been increased from four to five, and next month, in collaboration with its Swiss UIRR homologue Hupac, Cemat will introduce a new four pairs/week link between Verona and Taulov in Denmark, a steel wheel hub for onward services to Malmö and Oslo.
Meanwhile, logistics company Fercam, until recently a customer of Cemat/Hupac services (30,000 UTI in 2007), has moved its first block train with TX Logistik (Trenitalia) to Köln (Eiffeltor) from Verona (Porta Nuova) route, devoted to shipments of ceramic tiles.
“We have been pressing the rail freight companies to offer us a full train but until now neither RTC [Rail Traction Company] nor Lokomotion [Railion] have been able to meet our demands,” said Fercam’s managing director Thomas Baumgartner. Instead, TX Logistik, controlled by Trenitalia (FS group), has provided the required service, with its daily links between Köln and Verona via the Brenner.
Tile shipments are consolidated by Fercam in the Sassuolo (Modena) area and shipped to Germany in swap bodies and containers. Average load per shipment is 28t. On the return (southbound) leg Fercam ships clay produced in the Frankfurt area for use in the manufacture of more tiles in Italy.
In another intermodal development concerning Italy, international logistics operator LKW Walter is considering buying some combined transport services directly from rail traction providers, although it says it will continue to buy services from traditional UIRR aggregators such as Cemat, Kobmiverkehr and Hupac.
Speaking in Italy, LKW Walter’s director Dietmar Maier said that in some cases a different approach to combined transport services would help the company’s move to integrate rail with short sea services, an move even further away from reliance on long distance road transport, particularly in the Mediterranean. Modal shift is becoming increasingly important to LKW Walter, says Maier.
Of a forecast 880,000 trailer shipments in 2008, 125,000 will have moved in rail combi and/or road/shortsea shippimg modes, in all parts of Europe. This includes 52,000 transalpine o/d trailer shipments/year, with connections between Verona, Busto and Novara and Germany - Neuss and Rostock (for Sweden) - and Paris.
And finally, Italy-based SIFTA (Stà Italiana Trasporti Ferroviari Autoveicoli) is finalising design details for 100 new low bed car transporter wagons, an investment worth E16M. Similar to the 10) wagons SIFTA had built between 2002 and 2006, the new wagons will have smaller diameter wheels (680mm) in order to optimise the load profile, but will also contain some new features including composite brakes to reduce noise levels in anticipation of forthcoming norms.
The design contract was awarded to OMEF Officina Meccanica e Ferroviaria in Tortona, part of Giovanni Ambrosetti Auto Logistica. SIFTA’s managing director Walter Leopardi says that in spite of the economic crisis the company’s turnover has increased this year.
SIFTA is among the leading European specialists in rail transport of new automobiles, along with Gefco, STVA and ATG, and operates a fleet of 2000 car transporter wagons, together with 250 flat cars leased through its Transwaggon Italia share.
Leopardi adds that SIFTA is involved in the project of BLG Autologistics Italia to move new Honda cars from Gioia Tauro to Parma (San Polo di Torrile). It is also tendering for Fiat’s upcoming contract for transporting the new Topolino being built in Serbia. Naturally Fiat is a core customer for SIFTA, but other customers include Volkswagen, Opel, Ford, Mercedes and Toyota.