The backlog of railcars is decreasing due to a drop in the volume of transportation of the main export cargoes – iron ore and grain

The queues of freight railcars at the western border crossings in May 2023 decreased by 11%, or by 1,357 thousand railcars, compared to the indicator at the end of April – to 10,765 thousand units. This is evidenced by Ukrainian Railways (UZ) data.

The biggest reduction in railcar queues at the border crossings with Slovakia, in particular, at the Chop – Chierna over Tisou crossing, the number of rolling stock decreased by 682 railcars – to 1.87 thousand units (-27% m/m), and Uzhhorod – Matevtsi – by 942 railcars, to 1.2 thousand units (-44% m/m).

As of May 31, 2023, 4,14,000 railcars were heading to Poland, which is 11.7% more compared to April 30. An increase in queues was recorded at the crossings Mostyska-2 – Medyka and Rava-Ruska – Verkhrata – by 88% m/m and 53% m/m.

1,907,000 railcars were standing at border crossings with Romania. This is 58.4% more compared to a month earlier. The increase in queues occurred due to an increase in railcars at the Vadul-Siret – Dorneshti crossing – by 97%, up to 1,527 thousand units.

1,047 railcars (-47.1% m/m) went to Hungary, and 484 units went to Romania and Moldova (+25.1% m/m).

As the UZ noted, currently the available potential for cargo transportation through the western border crossings is used by only 52%. In fact, about 1,653 railcars are leased, although the capacity reaches 3,422 units.

The backlog of railcars at border crossings decreased in May due to the drop in export shipments – by 23% m/m, to 3.8 million tons. In particular, the transportation of iron ore for export during the month fell by 17% m/m – to 1.38 million tons, and grain – by 46% m/m, to 1.14 million tons.

As GMK Center reported earlier, UZ in January-May 2023 processed 58 million tons of cargo, reducing the figure by 23.3% compared to the same period in 2022. In May, the railway operator transported 11.5 million tons of cargo, which is 19% more y/y and 3% less m/m.

In May, more than 1 million tons of goods were shipped to Slovakia, including more than 850,000 tons of iron ore. During the month, 344,000 tons of iron ore were transferred through the Chop – Chierna border crossing over Tisou, and 509,000 tons through the Uzhhorod – Matevtsi crossing.