Smartcontainer launches new rail shuttle connecting Rotterdam and Moscow


Smartcontainer has launched a new weekly Rotterdam-Moscow rail shuttle, the first direct rail connection to the Russian capital since 2005.

The shuttle departs every Thursday at 10:00 from the Rail Service Center Rotterdam, located in the Port of Rotterdam, and will stop at Brest in Belarus before reaching the railway terminals of Selyatino and Vorsino near Moscow. This will then allow connections to other terminals such as those in Novorossiysk, St. Petersburg, Vostochny, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and China.

“Since 2020, trade between the Netherlands and Russia has been on the rise again,” said Frank Donkers, Director of Smartcontainer. “So, there is certainly a need for reliable, sustainable and cost-effective container transport. With our shuttle service, we can provide it.”

The train consists of 20 90 foot wagons that can handle a combination of different containers. As Donkers continues, “We are very flexible, from dry cargo to tank containers. There are lots of possibilities. Westwards we already have bookings for Russian processed (hard) wood, grain, and other agriproducts. Eastwards, examples include exports of complete greenhouse systems via the containers on our train.”

Gilbert Bal, Senior Business Manager for Supply Chain & Logistics at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, added “It is great to witness the start of the train connection between Rotterdam RSC and Moscow. It not only connects Rotterdam with Russia but also Belarus and Kazakhstan. In addition, Rotterdam will act as a hub for cargo from and to the rest of Europe.”

Kubota has also become a new tenant of a large distribution centre in Alblasserdam, located next to BCTN’s container terminal at the Port of Rotterdam. Announced in October 2021, the Japanese manufacturer will make use of the distribution centre as its operating hub for deliveries to the Northern European market.

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