During this year, Research and Production Corporation “United Wagon Company” (UWC or Holding) (MOEX: UWGN) is going to supply 64 box cars to Kazakhstan’s operators and manufacturers. The first batch has already been shipped to the freight forwarder Asian Synergy Logistics.
The freight car’s capacity stands at 175 m3, which, coupled with the increased axle load of 25 tf, raises its payload capacity to 73 t. The car’s parameters enable 6 more tonnes of cargo to be loaded (as compared to similar cars). The car’s distinguishing feature is four loading hatches enabling easy and fast loading of loose goods, including grain. The size of the doorway openings allows for loading and unloading by all types of lift trucks.
The plan calls for using box cars manufactured by TikhvinSpetsMash (part of UWC) for carrying foods, less-than-car loads and loose grain.
UWC’s box cars have the service life of 32 years, their repair interval amounting to 800,000 km (or 8 years) versus 110,000 km (or 3 years) for their counterparts operating on local markets. In 2013, UWC service centres were opened in Kazalinsk, Karaganda and Pavlodar at the Kazakhstan railcar repairing facilities of Kamkor Wagon (Kazakhstan Temir Zholy’s subsidiary).
In expert estimation, the Kazakhstan market of box cars has significant potential. The cargo base for the given rolling stock type is rapidly increasing in present day Kazakhstan. In January–April 2018, the output of foods rose by 6.4% year-on-year, whereas agricultural output increased by 3.8%. Furthermore, the export potential of Kazakhstan goods has grown due to stronger relations with Russia and China. For example, in 2017 the volume of goods manufactured in Kazakhstan transported via RZD’s network in box cars rose by 18%, the growth drivers being timber freight (+53%), construction material (+40%) and fertilizers (+234%). Positive dynamics continued in Q1 2018: loading increased by 9.8%, while the volume of fertilizers doubled.
What’s more, it is planned to start supplying agricultural and animal products to China in the nearest future; a number of new joint projects for processing meat, wool, fruit and oil crops are to be launched together with Chinese investors.
Especially important for shippers in the current environment is arranging for highly efficient logistics, and it is new generation cars that could become an effective solution for transportation cost optimization as there were no innovative cars among Kazakhstan’s fleet before.