Logistics Centers – an option of a bright future
In the industrial zone of Vilnius, region of Paneriai, during soviet period a base was built adapted to operate large amounts of metal and oversize cargo. A few years ago, after reconstruction of the base, a customs warehouse was created instead, named Paneriu Terminalas, tells manager of the company Vytautas Verbickas.
Participation in Viking project
Today Paneriu Terminalas is a mini logistics center with a railway branch, road connections, equipped with a mobile railway technique, covered warehouses, open area and stationary cranes. On the territory of the enterprise offices of cargo owners and forwarding companies are opened. It leads to taking leading positions for Thus Paneriu Terminalas close to take leading positions in the region of Vilnius. Previous year Paneriu Terminalas joined in operation of a shuttle train Viking, on the route Klaipeda – Vilnius – Kiev – Odessa (Ilyichevsk). Also a universal ramp was built to provide for road – train operation on the railway platform and car loading into the railway box-wagons. Today we provide for regular container shipments to Kiev and Odessa. Viking project has crossed the border of Lithuania, Byelorussia and Ukraine. From Vilnius passing through the port of Iljichevsk cargoes arrive in Georgia. Containers reach Tbilisi in 10–14 days, which is twice as fast as shipping cargo by sea route Klaipeda – Poti. From Vilnius on Viking shuttle cargo is shipped to Turkey with further destination in Iraq. From the beginning of this year ferries from Ilyichevsk are calling at ports of Poti (instead of Batumi) and Hopa. Paneriu Terminalas most of all lacks the covered railway box wagons for car transportation, since demand for them exceeds the supply dramatically. Entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan cannot ship the purchased cargo, while forwarding by car carriers is rather expensive. We very much look forward to the day when finally the tariff rates for railway transportation between Russia and Lithuanian are agreed upon for the container shipping on the route Kaliningrad – Klaipeda – Moscow. Since the line is crossing the Paneriu area, we shall have another important direction for containerized cargo export to Moscow. Main route of the Lithuanian road hauliers passes Vilnius. They will have an opportunity to reload cargoes into containers on the Paneriu Terminalas area for further transportation to Moscow. While the forwarder themselves may stay in the EU area and proceed with the business there.
Major priority – service quality
Presently we are trying to develop three important projects of logistics centers' establishing in Klaipeda, Kaunas and Vilnius. The large-scale construction and development of the logistics center in Klaipeda is prevented by lack of necessary infrastructure. In Kaunas it comes out right with the building of the railway line Rail Baltica. Near Kaunas two transport corridors will be crossing – Nr I and IX – two railways with a different gauge – Russian and European. A massive transport junction shall be created there. Logistics center near Vilnius, mainly oriented towards transit cargo operation, is on the final phase of construction. By the beginning of summer engineer communication facilities will be installed as well as building of the road connections. The logistics center seriously increases the competitiveness among the existing warehouses and terminals, however it also attracts the additional cargo flows. To further successfully develop activities of the Paneriu Terminalas, company management pays a lot of attention towards increasing the level of service quality, introduction of new services, modernization of the warehouse facilities and equipment purchasing. As per logistics services, when entering the EU many requirements change and become. In order to retain its position on the market and provide better services to its customers Panieriu Terminalas pays the utmost attention to the quality of the services offered.
The demand for transport is expected to grow
After Lithuania and other candidate-countries become member-states of the EU it can be expected that the EU will invest into the infrastructure (both road and rail), industries and services of the new members. Already now some production plants are considering to expand and double their production. New plants will start to be built. This, consequently, will cause the demand for transport industry to grow. Manufacturers need cargoes to be delivered on time. We expect to have more trucks on the road. At the moment there is no passenger railroad connection between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Because of the different width of railway tracks all cargoes coming from Europe by rail have to be reloaded at Sestokai – the rail station on the Polish border. In order to change the situation, the project of the railway line Rail Baltica was introduced. The new high-speed line will join Warsaw, Kaunas, Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki. At the moment the designing phase of the project is at its final stage. The construction of the first stretch from Warsaw to Kaunas is scheduled to begin operation in 2005/2006. The Rail Baltica line will change the transport market on the South - North direction dramatically. As concerns the West - East direction, the situation there can be changed only in case of launching a high-speed container train on the route Kaliningrad – Klaipeda – Moscow. Negotiations with the Russian Transport Ministry have been underway for a long time, but no final decision has been taken as yet. The lack of 40- and 45-foot containers is strongly felt on the Lithuanian transport market. Such containers could provide an alternative to road transport. The expansion of the EU is bound to bring new transport technologies and simplified customs procedures into the new member-states. As a result, cargoes will be delivered to the customer faster.