Nowadays, more and more freights, especially goods with high added value are carried in containers; therefore, also Latvia works actively to develop container train services.
Within the Baltic region, Latvia is the most experienced country in forming container trains, there are diferent special container trains being organised already now in Latvia. Our container train network provides regular connections to CIS countries.
Number of containers carried by rail transport 2012–2022 (TEU)
Container train “Baltika Transit”
- In operation since 2003.
- Offers container train service from/to all the Baltic States to/from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirgizstan, Tadzhikistan, Afghanistan).
- Consolidates and carry freights from all Baltic ports.
- Quick transit — 12–15 days to clients in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
- Tracking of freights.
- Electronic declaration even before the freight is arrived.
- Simple customs procedures.
- Plans to extend the container train route to China in the near future.
In order to diversify cargo flows and attract new cargoes, a number of container trains have been organized between China and Latvia in recent years, including by combining them with other transport modes and transporting freight in both directions.
In November 2016, the container test train arrived from Yiwu to Riga. The train showed good results, crossing more than 11 000 km in 12 days. In some stages on the way through Russia, the train even passed around 1 200 km a day. After that, a commercial platform of Yiwu “The Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment Co.”, has incorporated Riga into a global commodity movement map.
In May 2017, a container train with 52 containers connected Riga with Kashgar (West of China). The train crossed 7 400 km in 12 days. A few weeks later, a second container train went from Riga to Kashgar. The cargo of both trains came from Duisburg (Germany) by rail and further by sea through the ports of Hamburg and Riga. These test trains showed the potential to deliver freight from Europe to China.
At the end of 2017, a container train on the route Urumqi-Altinkol-Riga-Rotterdam arrived in Riga. Container train with 41 containers of cargo have passed nearly 6 000 km from chinese-kazakh border to the port of Riga in a week. The cargo was further transported by sea transport from Riga to Rotterdam. This train has shown the competitiveness of intermodal transport, when rail and sea transport modes were integrated.
At the end of 2018, the first container train from Xi'an arrived in Riga. The train was sent to Riga just two months after SJSC “Latvian Railway” signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park. This test train was 1000th train heading for Europe from Xi'an, China's largest land port. Then, cargo from Riga was distributed by sea to Hamburg (Germany) and Kuovola (Finland). The train crossed 8 031 km in 11 days.
At the end of 2018, a container train from Wuhan arrived in Riga. After, cargo from Riga was distributed to Estonia and Lithuania by road. The train crossed 8 988 km in 12 days.