Less mass cargo, more containers - freight groups in Q1 2020


In the first quarter of 2020 54.3 million tonnes of goods were transported by rail. This is a lower value than last year, however not all cargo groups noted a decrease. In comparison to the last quarter of 2019 freight of lower mass was transported. However, the mass of such groups as finished metal products, chemicals and chemical products, non-identifiable products, as well most of processed products has risen.

Freight carriers transported 54.3 million tonnes of goods in Q1 2020, which meant a decline by 9.6% in comparison to Q1 2019. Transfer service amounted to 12.5 billion tonne-kilometres (decline by 12.5% year/year). The value of these two basic parametres was lower by 5.8 million tonnes and 1.8 billion tonne-kilometres respectively.

Biggest decreases in nominal values in comparison to Q1 2019 were noted in two groups: coal, oil and gas as well as ores and mining products. In case of the first group 20.8 million tonnes were transported - by 3.5 million tonnes less (14.4%), and transfer service amounted to 3.3 billion tonne-kilometres - decline by 1 billion (24.1%). With regard to ores and mining products their values reached the level of 13 million tonnes and 2.9 billion tonne-kilometeres of transfer service. Comparing year to year this means a fall by 2.8 million tonnes (17.9%) and 0.9 billion tonne-kilometres (24.1%). The results of these two groups have largely influenced the parametre values of freight transfers in Q1. In case of the remaining groups the decreases were at a much lower level.

- Railway freight services do not necessarily have to be used for the transport of mass goods. The Q1 transfer results show that. Joint mass result of transported goods is lower, however there have been groups, which noted an increase and that in face of the coronavirus crisis - sums up Mr. Ignacy Góra, Ph.D., the President of the Office of Rail Transport. - Trains were used to transport more goods in groups consisting of consumer goods, like electronic equipment or textile products. This also means all sorts of products, which can be transported in containers - which allows for quick unloading and provision of transport safety. The market share of only the non-identified products' group reached the level of 7.8% (mass) and 10.7% (transfer service) - he adds.

In Q1 2020 the market share of ore and mining products' group did not cross the level of 24% with regard to mass and transfer service (in Q1 2019 26.4% and 26.8% respectively). The Q1 2020 results of this group were influenced by a low value of freight transfers of iron ores. In comparison to Q1 2019 the result is lower by 1.1 million tonnes less (41%) and comparing to Q4 2019 by almost 241 thousand tonnes less.

The market share of coal, oil and gas group remained at the level of 38.3% (mass) and 26.4% (transfer service) in Q1 2020 (decline by 2.2% and 4% respectively). Chemicals and chemical products constituted 5% (mass) and 6.9% (transfer service) - rise by 0.7% and 1.4% respectively), and metals/finished metal products' group - 4.4% (mass) and 4.3% (transfer service), which means a change in the market share not exceeding 0.2%.

Average cargo transfer distance reached the level of 229 km. Longest average distances of transfers were noted with regard to the following groups: refinery products as well as iron ores (due to inadequate operations of road transport). For these groups average distance was at the level of 360 km. On average the shortest transfer distances were executed with regard to coal, other construction materials and mixed materials' groups (with the exclusion of foodstuffs).

Detailed data on goods transport values for Q1 2020 can be found under this link (Polish version only).

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