Valerii Andrianov: The Main Trend of European Logistics is Environmental Friendliness


Text by Mykola Kopylov

Valerii Andrianov, Director of Strategy and Development at Levada Cargo Ukrainian company, spoke about the results of participation in the Transport logistic 2023 exhibition, European trends in logistics, as well as his vision of the development of intermodal transportation in international traffic system in an interview with Rail.insider.

“Your company and you personally participated in the Transport logistic 2023 exhibition, which was recently held in Munich. What main trends in European logistics would you note based on the event?”
“Yes, this year Levada Cargo took part in the Transport logistic exhibition in Munich for the first time. At the stand, we presented to the logistics industry services and solutions for the organisation of multimodal transportation, as well as the possibilities of our partner project – the Mostyska Container Terminal. Currently, we see that one of the main trends in all types of transport and areas of activity is ecology. Talking about railway transport, almost all players consider their activities in the context of synergy with other means of transport and aim to increase efficiency, unify networks, integrate different means of transport into transport chains (road – railway – river/sea), i.e. multimodality and universality. Our container terminal is also trimodal: It works with railway cars, motor vehicles and containers. All this allows connecting different means of transportation to continue transshipment and transportation. In addition, the market of rolling stock manufacturers is moving towards universalisation.
A lot of new and interesting things were presented in the area of IT and software. We can say that strengthening the role of the “invisible” part of logistics (using IT solutions) is also one of the general trends.
As for road transport, almost all manufacturers of tractors have presented vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel, electricity, and even biogas.

“Regarding non-standard sizes of containers, in addition to the traditional 20- and 40-foot containers, how promising is their use in Ukraine, in your opinion? What can hinder it?
I would say it is not promising, but effective, since working with different types of containers is primarily an increase in efficiency for the transportation of certain cargo types. Various types of non-standard (although in most countries of the world they are called ordinary, standard) containers have proven their effectiveness in Ukraine as well. For example, 23/26-foot tank containers for liquid cargo; 30-foot bulk containers for dry cargo. Such containers have already confidently occupied their niches on the Ukrainian market, especially in view of transportation between Ukraine and the EU. I can confidently say that their role will increase despite the negative factors that hinder the development and increase in efficiency.
The main negative factor is the railway rates set for these types of containers. For instance, our rate for a 30-foot container is equal to the one for a 40-foot container. This should not be the case, especially in the context of more efficient operation of Ukrainian railway rolling stock (>60% of the platform fleet is 60-foot ones).

“Based on your experience of communication at the stand, what is the European logistics companies in Ukraine most interested in?”
“We were pleasantly surprised by the number of visitors to our stand. Yes, Ukraine is a very large market, which, especially recently, is increasing its influence in terms of exchanging goods with the EU market. The possibilities of our border container terminal in Mostysk and the use of its capacities for cargo transportation between Ukraine and EU countries was of particular interest. The cargo owners, who traditionally use road transport for transportation, showed great interest. They saw an alternative for the logistics of their cargo. After all, Levada Cargo currently offers the market regular container services between the terminal in Mostysk (with access to Ukrainian regions) and the main terminals of countries such as Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In the near future, the list of countries will be significantly expanded. We have also seen interest in our company from operators of the European terminal network and railway companies. They actively discussed with us the possibilities of forming connections with our terminal and the Ukrainian network. However, it should be noted that not only companies from the EU showed interest. Chinese and Indian companies also took an active interest in our stand and services.

“How much attention is paid to counter-trailer transportation in Europe? What are the prospects for this in connections between Ukraine and the EU? What are we missing to promote such combined transportation?”
“To some extent, this can be called one of the trends in EU logistics. After all, it is primarily about ecology. More and more companies and terminals are involved in the work with counter-trailer transportation. There are certainly prospects for such combinations. We are actively studying this issue, and representatives of the terminal in Mostysk are negotiating a partnership with key operators and terminals that are involved in cross-trailer transportation to form this service.

“Has the issue of the Middle Corridor been considered? In your opinion, how promising is mass transportation between Ukraine and China using it, given the permanent uncertainty with the “grain corridor” and, in general, the traditional connection through the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea? Is it possible to establish transportation by land railway section of the Middle Corridor – through the territory of Turkey with access to the Kars – Tbilisi – Baku route?
“Currently, even in the context of uncertainties with the “grain corridor”, the Middle Corridor is not considered by our exporters due to its complexity and high cost.
Today, Gdansk to Shanghai freight costs up to USD 300 for a 20-foot container. The situation, of course, can change: Immediately after the end of the war and the victory of Ukraine. Because Ukraine will automatically become one of the key transit countries on the China-EU route, and its inclusion in such corridors will be a right and effective step.
In fact, now this corridor (or its part) may be interesting, for example, to Ukrainian metallurgists who lost the Central Asian market as a result of the war. Container transportation, for example, Reni – Constanta/Istanbul – Poti – Baku, can be an alternative for them.”

“What are your plans for the current year?”
“The year is difficult. However, we maintained our market share, completed and opened the terminal with a partner even during the war. We have several areas of investment. We will focus on projects that will be able to increase the share of cargo containerisation in the future. As we have already said, our company and Lemtrans as an investor, have plans to start the further construction of intermodal terminals. We believe in victory, we believe in people and Ukraine.

Subscribe to news

Stay informed