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24th International Exhibition for Transport and Logistics Services and Intralogistics Technologies
15 - 17 April 2019 • Russia, Moscow, Crocus Expo, Pavilion 1

The TransRussia Interview: Lithuanian Railways' Mantas Bartuska

News
Despite the country’s small size, Lithuania punches well above its weight in terms of rail logistics. The nation is the EU’s 7th largest rail freight market, and its geographic location means it can serve Russian, European, and global cargoes with ease.
The TransRussia Interview: Lithuanian Railways' Mantas Bartuska
Lithuanian Railways (LG) is at the forefront of Lithuania’s transport and logistics sector – and a slew of new developments are set to propel the company to new heights.
 
Mantas BartuskaWe spoke with LG CEO Mantas Bartuska about the future of his firm, the importance of Russia as a market for Lithuanian Railways and how exhibiting at TransRussia helps the company meet its business goals.
 
What are Lithuanian Railways unique selling points?
 
Lithuania itself is a substantial rail cargo market within the EU and Lithuanian Railways, already one of Europe’s most effective logistics companies, is aiming at becoming a regional leader in rail freight.
 
Lithuania’s geographic location and infrastructure projects, our company’s business decisions, infrastructure projects, plus our experience and business decisions, make it possible for us to achieve even better results. The goal is to become a top five company in the EU.
 
As a company, we are consistently upgrading our facilities. We make significant efforts to promote long-term cooperation with our partners, with extra attention being paid to the improvement of our existing services and creation of new ones.
 
Rapid border crossings, intermodal terminals operating in accordance with Single Window principles, cutting-edge technologies, and a modernised traffic management centre, alongside installation of new electronic systems, has significantly accelerated our operations, and helped us improve customer servicing.
 
With the implementation of the Rail Baltica project, Lithuanian Railways will not only be active along East-West routes, but North-South too.
 
How was 2017 for Lithuanian Railways?
 
2017 was dynamic, and required a lot of effort. Even so, Lithuanian Railways achieved positive results.
 
Cargo transportation volumes increased by 10.5% from 47.6 million tons to 52.6 million tons. This growth has allowed us to make a step up, becoming a leading rail freight carrier throughout the Baltics.
 
At LG, we make every effort to maintain our traditional markets (Belarus, Russia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine), while expanding operations in regions such as Scandinavia, Western Europe, and the Black Sea Basin. We have also been looking at opportunities in China.
 
For our customers’ convenience, we have offices in Russia, Belarus, and China and a newly opened location in Poland.
 
We try to use any potential we can. For example, around 5,000 trucks cross the Lithuanian-Poland border every day. That’s around 20 million tons of freight, and new opportunities for growth as we can offer a complete suite of transport and logistics services for potential customers.
 
Lithuanian Railways is ready, together with our partners, to create new opportunities towards attracting an additional cargo base. For this, it’s necessary to develop and implement a range of commercial, organisational, and technological activities, and actively involve our partners in improving the level of end-to-end service.
 
Harmonisation of rail transport legal regulations is also required.
 
How important is Russia as a market for Lithuanian Railways? How much of the company’s business takes place there?
 
Russia is a very important market for us. It covers around 30% of our cargoes, and we have very good partners there. In 2017, we transported 16 million tons of Russian cargo – which was growth of 35%. These results were very encouraging and inspiring, considering the fact that the amount of freight entering and exiting Russia has been decreasing over the past few years.
 
The top five types of Russian transit freights Lithuanian Railways handles are solid mineral fuels, food and feed, oil products, feral metals, and mineral products.
 
Last year, the amount of cargo carried in collaboration with Kaliningrad Railways increased by 29.%. That year we launched a new project – an intermodal train from Kaliningrad, through Lithuania, to China, and from China to Lithuania to Western Europe via Kaliningrad. This project has great perspectives, and offers new opportunities for our business to transport cargo along the Asia-Europe route.
 
Why is the Asia-Europe route potentially promising for LG?
 
There a several factors that can influence the development of cargo transportation between Europe and Asia. From 2011 to 2017, the number of trains between China and Europe totalled 6,000. In 2017 alone, there were 3,000 trains. Thus, we can see a major increase in traffic.
 
In recent years, goods turnover between Europe and Asia has been snowballing like an avalanche. Express deliveries are the fastest growing segment of the global transport and logistics market, and, according to forecasts, it will double by 2020. 
 
The worldwide economy requires a more dynamic deliver of goods in order to maintain historical growth rates. European and Asian countries are investing huge amounts of money in developing railway infrastructure.
 
In summary, I really believe there is huge growth potential on the Asia-Europe route. An important task would be to create more efficient infrastructure for the development of transport and logistics services between Europe and Asia.
 
How is Lithuanian Railways preparing for the future of global transport and logistics?
 
The transport and logistics market is always changing. Railway transport requires a rapid and efficient transformation, because of the fast growth of sectors like e-commerce making loads smaller and more individualised. A well-functioning, high-speed supply chain is necessary to ensure fast delivery of goods. Transit time is the key factor customers in choosing transport modes.
 
In order to realise rail transport’s potential, industry transformation is necessary – we need to be heading towards digitisation, IT solutions, innovation, and infrastructure development.
 
Thus our most important goals are:
 
Implementation of new large projects like Rail Baltica
Electrification
Construction of double tracks
Leveraging technology to improve customer experience
Increase use of wagons by 20-30%
Introduction of new services like semi-trailer transportation, new routes, and new liquid cargo terminals
 
Is participation in TransRussia useful for your business?
 
We really appreciate being able to participate at the exhibition. TransRussia is a great platform for international cooperation and communications.
 
We’ve been taking part in TransRussia for more than 10 years, and we can definitely say that is gives us unique opportunities to meet our clients and potential partners, to present our services, and strengthen LG’s brand name on the Russian market.
 
It is the proper place to say to our partners: “Let’s build the future of railways together!”
 

Meet Lithuanian Railways and more experts at TransRussia

 
Want to meet Lithuanian Railways, plus hundreds more transport and logistics specialists like ZSSK Cargo/ Budamar, Greencarrier, and B.I.C? Be at Crocus Expo Moscow, between 17-19 April 2018 at TransRussia: Russia’s only event dedicated to transport and logistics.