Despite the restrictions related to the emergency situation caused by the covidu-19 pandemic, ČD Cargo was able to ensure sufficient capacity for the removal of calamitous wood from bark beetle-infested localities. Between January and April, the company managed to increase the number of cars delivered to remove bark wood to 118 percent of the 2019 average, and the company is making a significant contribution to combating the spread of the bark calamity in the Czech Republic. It is the accelerated export of infested wood for processing that is the basic precondition for success in the fight against the uncontrollable spread of bark beetles.
The bark beetle calamity is one of the biggest persistent threats to the Czech landscape and the environment. In the fight against the uncontrollable spread of bark beetles, it is absolutely essential that the felled trunks do not remain lying in the affected localities for a long time. Thanks to its capacity, rail transport is a very efficient way of moving calamitous wood from infested areas to processors.
ČD Cargo has been responding to the development of the situation in the area of calamity wood since the very beginning of the bark beetle calamity, and the ability to allocate wagons for the commodity wood has been growing significantly since 2015. In the course of the year from January to April 2020, ČD Cargo was able to maintain transport at the level of 2019, despite the limitations caused by the covidu-19 pandemic. The number of delivered vehicles increased to 118 percent compared to the 2019 average. On average, ČD Cargo now loads bark beetle-infested logs into 1,628 trucks per week. In the month of April alone, when the entire market was hit by a state of emergency, the share of cars delivered on time was 98 percent. ČD Cargo was thus able to ensure the transport of a comparable volume of infested wood from the affected localities at the level of last April by strict compliance with hygienic measures and internal safety standards. This was achieved despite the limited operation of key wood processors (approximately 10 sawmills in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria), whose operations were limited by a pandemic and related measures.
ČD Cargo is the only railway carrier that serves all calamity places affected by bark beetles in the Czech Republic. Despite the currently high share of delivered vehicles, the company is continuously working on expanding and adapting vehicle capacity for growing volumes of timber transport so that it can meet the needs of resolving the bark beetle calamity as much as possible.
“ČD Cargo is aware of its absolutely crucial role in managing the calamity situation and its customers strive to communicate their long-term plans and needs, including at least a partial guarantee of transport. Unfortunately, we currently work in long-term areas without long-term contracts, only with a five-day order of cars. but we are constantly trying to increase our transport capacity, “says Ivan Bednárik, Chairman of the Board of ČD Cargo.
Already in 2018, the company increased the number of cars by 500 and the number of specialized cars designed exclusively for timber transport – Laaps, Roos increased from 500 in 2015 to 760 in 2018. In the same year, the company concluded contracts that gradually expand vehicle capacity by a thousand cars. . It is a complex reconstruction of 500 inoperable Eas cars (72 m3) and the purchase of 500 new high – walled Eanos lorries (82 m3). Deliveries of new cars have already begun and should be completed in March 2021.
“We are ready to lease additional vehicle capacity on the market provided a guaranteed and planned volume of transport and a corresponding price level. However, an increase in investment is not possible without guaranteed conditions for long-term future cooperation and with regard to the economic side of these transports. It should be borne in mind As a company with social responsibility, we are now de facto providing a service in the public interest, where we transport lying timber from the affected localities, regardless of economic profitability, and spend considerable resources on adapting the vehicle fleet so that we are able to meet volumetric transport commodities. requirements for this transport, “comments Ivan Bednárik on the current situation of ČD Cargo