Karlshamn is set to acquire a rail shuttle that will link the industrial base of south-east Sweden with the Port of Gothenburg and the world. The shuttle will be operated in collaboration with SCT Transport, one of Sweden’s largest container transport providers.
“Each week around 30 containers will be loaded onto rail trucks instead of road trucks,” said Svante Altås, SCT Transport Chief Executive. “This represents a significant environmental gain as we can eliminate 30 journeys by truck, equivalent to a driving distance of 10,200 kilometres per week. There is a great deal of interest among companies in south-east Sweden in transporting goods by rail to the Port of Gothenburg.”
APM Terminals, which operates the container terminal at the Port of Gothenburg, is investing heavily in rail traffic. The 26 rail shuttles link a large proportion of Swedish industry to the port and the world.
“With the new Karlshamn shuttle we will acquire a highly efficient transport solution to and from south-east Sweden, serving the industrial base in that region,” said Hans Gutsch, Business Development Manager at APM Terminals.
SCT Transport will operate the Gothenburg-Karlshamn service once a week in both directions during the summer. The plan is to add further weekly departures during the autumn.
Stig-Göran Thorén,head of rail traffic operations at the Gothenburg Port Authority, is pleased with this new development. “The investment by SCT is very encouraging. Karlshamn is an important hub and it offers considerable potential to increase the proportion of freight transported by rail.”
The core volumes are sheet metal parts from the Volvo plant in Olofström destined for China although it is hoped that other types of freight that are currently being transported by road to and from south-east Sweden can be switched to rail.
At present rail transport accounts for half the container traffic to and from the Port of Gothenburg container terminal.
APM Terminals has recently invested in new rail-side cranes as well as track extensions that will allow 730 metre trains to be handled and a sixth track that will run all the way into the terminal.
According to Stig-Göran Thorén, the container terminal is now better equipped for rail traffic than it has ever been. “The Port Line, the track that connects the port with the mainline network, is being converted into a double-track system. This will in time permit more rail-borne freight to be handled.”