BLOG: Ride the Rail!

Now making its fourth appearance, Railforum will be hosted in Kouvola on 26 September. Railforum 2019 will be our most international, most climate-conscious seminar to date. Railforum 2019 showcases current trends – and looks ahead to the future of logistics. ​

Railforum has long had a reputation for being a place where global logistics players meet – but this time around, the roster of the speakers and attendees is more international than ever. We have seminar participants from more than ten countries, with such countries as China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Poland in attendance – in addition to strong delegations from the Nordics.   

We are very excited about Railforum 2019 because it gives us a platform to talk about Railgate Finland which is currently emerging as a logistics powerhouse, connecting North Europe and Asia via rail. The direct container train connection to Asia has been running cargo to China (and back) since November 2017.


King in the North

This modern-day Silk Road – running from Kouvola to the Chinese city of Xi’an – is less congested than the Central European rail corridors. The Northern route is also 2,000 kilometres shorter than its southern counterparts. As the gauge width is the same in Finland and in Russia, there is only one reloading session required along the way (on the Kazakhstan-China border).  

The commercial potential here is vast. In the future, the cargo volume between Europe and China could well reach 1 million TEU / year. As of right now, transportation demand and capacity to both directions is constantly growing and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) spurs the development of rail cargo onwards, well into the 2020’s. 

At Railforum 2019, we will explore this exciting new option to the fullest. There are also news concerning the Kouvola - Xi’an connection: Russia is now promising to allow the transit of food products through its territory which will, in turn, expand the scope of potential cargo. In addition, by the end of the year, the red tape surrounding hazardous materials transport will be reduced, too.   


Smart Rail: From Promise to Business

Another key theme at the seminar is the rise of smart logistics – which is integrated very strongly to Railgate Finland, as well. We’re talking about e-rail, which is driven by IoT and cutting-edge blockchain solutions, and asking the question: what if the future is already here?

But if there is to be a future, it needs to be a green one. In our panel discussion, ‘Climate Impact of Transportation,’ there will be a “gathering of the tribes,” so to speak, as representatives of various modes of transport meet to discuss the challenge of climate change in depth.

See you at Railforum 2019!


Photo Johannes Wiehn: The venue for the Railforum 2019 is beautiful Kouvola City Hall.