Rolling Stock Operating Efficiency
In 2018, the turnover of the Company's flatcars accelerated to 11.9 days against 12.1 days in the previous year, which was the result of management efforts to improve the control over the flatcar fleet and higher demand for container transportation. The turnover rate of the Company's containers accelerated to 32.5 days against 37.8 days in 2017 spurred by the measures to accelerate the handling of the Company's containers at ports and border crossings, as well as through the optimisation of the Company's container stocks at the terminals and freight yards of shippers.
Containers empty run ratio in 2018 decreased to 17.6% from 19.2% in 2017 on the back of the measures taken to optimise the management of the container fleet, including through tariff decisions aimed at streamlining the loaded container flows. The imbalance between loaded container imports and exports persisted throughout 2018 restricting our ability to load containers running backwards from export routes and optimise empty container runs.
The empty run of flatcars decreased and amounted to 3.0% against 3.9% year-on-year. Such optimisation resulted from the measures taken to improve the efficiency of the flatcar fleet adjustment and flexible tariff policy. Pursuing the optimisation of this ratio was hampered by the persistent geographical imbalance of container flows due to increased imports and transits from China through border crossings in Eastern Siberia and the Far East.
The driver behind the improved efficiency of transport equipment utilisation and the enhanced quality of clients service is the transportation of containers as part of block container trains. This type of service boosts the delivery speed by 2.5-3 times as compared with the shipment of small consignments of containers as part of way-freight trains and also guarantees the observance of the cargo delivery terms for a client. Transporting the Company’s empty containers as part of container block trains is also very effective since it allows reducing the relocation time of empty containers to the place of loading and getting a discount to the Russian Railways’s infrastructure tariff applied for this transport mode.
In 2018, the Company sent 8,960 container trains, up 13.8% year-on-year.
The container traffic (including empty ones) as part of container trains of the Company's rolling stock in 2018 was 1,068 thousand TEUs against 931 thousand TEUs in 2017. The share of containers transported by the Company in container trains from the total traffic operated by the Company increased from 49.7% to 54.5% year-on-year.