To Increase Production While Maintaining Efficiency
For the second year in a row, Research and Production Corporation “United Wagon Company” remains the largest manufacturer of freight rolling stock in the CIS area. In 2016, our production facilities located in Tikhvin manufactured a total of 15.9 thousand of new generation freight cars. This year, when the company celebrates its anniversary, we intend to further increase production and commercialize our products abroad.
UWC’s strong position in the market is primarily due to the growing demand for its products and regular expansion by the company of its product line. Just 5 years ago, when our first plant in Tikhvin (“Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant”) was launched, we produced only two types of railcars: gondolas and hopper cars. However, UWC’s current model range offers above 40 railcar models. Our second plant, “TikhvinChemMash”, produces a variety of tank cars for chemicals (sulfuric acid, methanol, ammonia, caustic soda and molten sulfur). Their design solutions range from the simplest to complex, including tank cars with stainless steel insulation intended to carry corrosive products. In 2016, we started to manufacture freight cars for timber at our third plant “TikhvinSpetsMash”. In line with our product diversification strategies, we produce container and multi-purpose flat cars as well as boxcars. All freight cars are equipped with 25-ton bogies and represent railway rolling stock of a new generation. as they have a higher load capacity, are more reliable and economically efficient. Notably, we have set further targets to achieve in this area such as launching the production of freight cars with an axle load of 27 tf, and have been working intensively in this direction.
New generation freight cars are obviously in great demand nowadays, as their operation, on the one hand, allows reducing the cost of freight transportation, and, on the other hand, increasing freight turnover. Actually, the initiative of introducing such freight cars to the market was taken by the market itself. These changes firstly influenced the gondola segment. Since mid-2016, the demand for gondola cars has been growing, and the fleet finally came to a balance. As a result, freight traffic gained economic stability, and the operating rate equaled the investment in the railcar. Now we have customers ready invest in the innovative rolling stock, not only leasing, but also buying it.
Grain hoppers, apart from gondolas, represent another promising segment, as agricultural sector has been showing positive dynamics for several years. A good potential of growth is also held by the chemical industry. These factors make fleet renovation a topical issue and prove that the current steady demand, not speculative, but strategically planned, will persist. As such, we see a tendency for long-term investments to be made into freight cars with an increased load capacity used to carry mineral fertilizers and timber. Large market players anticipating the need for fleet renovation in a few years choose to prepare the ground now.
Further to the above, UWC has real chances to succeed in the international market. In light of the ruble’s weakening and some other factors in place, Russian producers are definitely becoming more attractive compared to their foreign competitors such as Chinese freight car manufacturers that offer low pricing in the international market where, unlike us, they have been present for a long time. Though operating in the global market has its challenges, our company considers enhancing its exports to Central Asia, Africa and America.
UWC has ambitions and goals, and certainly knows how to implement them.
CEO RPC UWC