The new contract in detail
Ten 41-tonne CAT articulated trucks (model 745) made their way across Europe to Astana railway station in Kazakhstan in a pilot project that took place in May 2019. The CAT loader model 432F has also been delivered to Kazakhstan all the way from the UK via the North- and the Baltic Sea. Caterpillar’s 100-tonne 777F off-highway trucks are also in play. These giant machines are being shipped in disassembled form over the Atlantic from manufacturing plants in the USA and Mexico to Estonia. RCL-RU loads the machine parts on to broad gauge wagons directly at the Port of Paldiski in Estonia before taking them on a 4,000 km journey all the way to Astana railway station in Kazakhstan. Thanks to a unique transportation scheme that they have engineered, RCL-RU can load ten trucks on to as few as eight platforms. Plans to expand the collaboration with the Caterpillar assembly plant in Tosno, Russia are already underway.
The market in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan forms the logistical and geographical hub of this partnership. It was both the granary and the raw material supplier of the former Soviet Union, and the railways are by far its most important transportation network. Kazakhstan’s railways account for more than 70% of the country’s entire freight transport and more than 60% of its public transportation services. In fact, Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 countries worldwide when it comes to rail freight transport per volume.
An eco-friendly cooperation
The rail freight journey between Estonia and Kazakhstan alone saves 23.5 tonnes of CO2. “The future belongs to those who build it”: this is Caterpillar’s motto. Between 2006 and 2014, the company reduced the CO2 emissions of its facilities by almost 40% and its energy output by almost a third. As part of the Rail Freight Forward Initiative, the ÖBB RCG has teamed up with many European rail freight companies so that we can shift freight transport from the roads to the rails. After all, rail freight transport is 6 times more energy-efficient and produces 9 times less CO2 than road freight.