Rolands Petersons, member of the board of CPM Trading SIA, Railway transport is one of the most promising modes of inland transport, and, at the moment, it is said to be the crucial element in the economy of Latvia.Rolands petersons cpm trading Considering the entire volume of inland transport, the share of railway freight is about 52%, whereas the volume of the passenger transportation is 6% and in Riga suburban area the number is increasing up to 30%. However, the data summarized by the Ministry of Communications still shows that in Latvia the volume of freight rail transportation by comparison with 2016 has decreased by 8.4% and amounted to 43.792 million tons.
Traffic congestion can lead to a loss of 200 billion euros The mobility of goods is an essential component of the EU internal market; this greatly contributes to the competitiveness of the industry and services in Europe.Rolands petersons cpm trading The types of lengthy transportation as railway can reduce their costs, which arise in connection with the traffic congestion on the roads. The increase of approximately 50% is projected by the year 2050, reaching a volume of almost 200 billion euros per year.Rolands petersons cpm trading
In the future, it is possible to increase the volume of rail transportation. The amount of international rail transportation in 2017 was 42.138 million tons, which showed a decline of 9.1% compared to 2016. However, domestic traffic has increased by 11.5% to 1.653 million tonnes.Rolands petersons cpm trading The volume of transit cargo from the total amount of international rail freight transport amounted to 38.719 million tons, which showed a drop of 6.5% compared to the previous year, the volume of imported goods was 3.067 million tons, or 22.4% less, and the volume of export cargo was 351 800 tons, which was a drop of 2.8 times.Rolands petersons cpm trading In 2016, in Latvia, by rail, 47.821 million tons were transported. Taking into consideration the decline in the international transport sector in 2017, the question is, by which means can we achieve the volume increase? By implementation of the well-considered long-term solutions, it is possible to get back to the level that used to be before the embargo against Russia was introduced in 2013.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Increase of the average commercial speed of freight trains. One of the key priorities nowadays is the development of the railway infrastructure, and in this case, it is expected, the railway infrastructure can be financed by the European Union.Rolands petersons cpm trading It is essential to find a solution how to increase the average commercial speed of freight trains since the speed is only about 18 km/h on the majority international routes in Europe. One of the solutions can be the improvement of cooperation between existing infrastructure organizations in Europe.Rolands petersons cpm trading The actual train system needs to be adapted to the needs of the railway freight transport sector, especially in the EU freight rail corridors. This would contribute to the competitiveness of rail transport with other modes of transport, especially with the road transport sector, which infrastructure is easily accessible in all Member States.
Well-thought-out charge for the use of infrastructure. Freight trains pay for each kilometer of the railway infrastructure, which again adversely affects the competitiveness of the railway in comparison with road transport, where such charge is not always introduced. Setting the price that users are required to pay for getting into the infrastructure, it would be necessary to take into account the impact on the environment and pollution, congestion, accidents and other aspects.Rolands petersons cpm trading The state should provide a proper support for organizations managing infrastructure, and rail transport enterprises should strive to improve the competitiveness of rail freight services, especially in regards to reliability, filling, elasticity, customer orientation, and the duration and cost of transportation, as these are the main aspects which are considered by an average consignor in selecting any of the available modes of transport.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Elimination imperfections in the liberalization of the freight transport process In cooperation with both, the public and private sectors, at the international level, imperfections related to the liberalization of freight rail transport, communication lines procedures, administrative and technical restrictions, monitoring and anticipating performance in the rail freight industry, and fair competition between different modes of transportation. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the ways to make a better use of available EU funding and target it to the rail transport industry in order to achieve improvements in such areas as a coherent approach to policy objectives and funding (while focusing on corridors for freight railways transportation), for the selection, planning and management of projects, as well as for the maintenance of railroad networks.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Not only update, but also regularly support It is essential to take to the new level not only the quality of the services provided to carriers and shippers of rail freight but, in general, to improve the competitiveness of rail freight transport; infrastructure managing organizations should not only update and modernize the railway network but also to regularly support it.Rolands petersons cpm trading This is especially important for the corridors of rail freight. If the tracks are not properly maintained, the speed limits will have to be applied and the railway lines will gradually be obstructed.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Transport and logistics industries are of particular importance for the Latvian economy since they have a steady GDP growth and provide services to virtually all other sectors of the national economy.Rolands petersons cpm trading Every year it is emphasized that this sector should be recognized as a priority and extend its promotion, however, the representatives of the transport and logistics sector are looking forward to more concrete and long-term solutions.Rolands petersons cpm trading
9.1% of the value added to the GDP of Latvia
Despite the political and economic changes of the last decade, the influence of the transport and logistics industry on the economy of our country remains high: in 2016 the sector increased the value added to the GDP by 9.1%. Moreover, the average monthly gross wage is still higher then in other sectors - in 2016 in other sectors of the economy it was 859 euros, whereas in storage and transportation sector the average gross wage is about 870 euros (1,562 euros - water transport, 2,061 euros - air transport, 1059 euros in the of storage and auxiliary transport activities, etc.).
Special economic area as an additional support
The positive examples of the logistics industry are the ports that have developed a good structure.Rolands petersons cpm trading Riga and Ventspils ports function as free ports, and the Liepaja port is included in the Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Companies operating in free ports and SEZ can receive not only the 0 tax rate for customs, excise, and value-added tax but also a discount of up to 80% of the company's income and up to 100% of the real estate tax.Rolands petersons cpm trading The port is actively implementing various investment projects related to the construction and development of industrial and distribution parks. The attraction of investments promotes the creation of higher added value, development of production, expansion of a spectrum of given services and creation of new workplaces. It is necessary to bring to the attention the small ports - SKULTE, Mersrags, SALACGRiVA, Pavilosta, Roja, Jurmala, and Engure, which currently occupy a stable position in the Latvian economy and have already become regional economic activity centers.
Port of Liepaja, will be the next Rotterdam.
There is also a wide range of opportunities for growth, and a number of actions that can be taken to meet projected targets.Rolands petersons cpm trading There is a strong need for the services with high added value, the increase of the processed volumes of cargo by attracting new freight flows, high-quality passenger service and an introduction of modern technologies and information systems in the area of transit and logistics. Liepaja port has all the chances to become the second Rotterdam in the foreseeable future.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Latvia as a distribution center for cargos from Asia and the Far East.
One of the most important issues for further growth of the port and special economic zone is the development of logistics and distribution centers, mainly focusing on the attraction of goods from Asia and the Far East.Rolands petersons cpm trading Latvia can serve as a distribution center for cargos in the Baltic and Scandinavian countries for Asia and the Far East (f.e. China, Korea). The tax regime of the Liepaja Special Economic Zone in accordance with the Law "On Taxation in Free Ports and Special Economic Zones" on December 31, 2035.Rolands petersons cpm trading This allows traders to conclude an agreement on investment and tax concession until December 31, 2035, until they reach a contractual level of assistance from the investments made. Considering the range of benefits provided by this status, it is necessary to consider the possible extension of the term.
Infrastructure development and expansion of warehouse space
Our advantage lies in the fact that there is not only a strategic geographical position but also a developed infrastructure that includes deep-water berths, cargo terminals, pipelines and territories free from the cargo terminal. Apart from this, we can add a good structure of pre-industrial zone, distribution park, multi-purpose technical equipment, as well as the high level of security not only in terms of delivery but also in terms of the storage and handling of goods. In the future, it would be advisable to pay more attention to access roads (railways and highways), increase the volume of storage facilities, and increase the number of services provided by ports. Participation in international industry exhibitions and conferences will make it possible to attract additional foreign investments and will contribute to the improvement of international image.Rolands petersons cpm trading
The transport development has caused objective problems for traffic in cities around the world, including Latvia, and the reason for this is a rapid increase in the number of vehicles.Rolands petersons cpm trading Road congestion is the most urgent problem in a trip planning because it affects the total time of transportation and, therefore, costs that have a particular relevance to the logistics industry.Rolands petersons cpm trading The quality of the roads, a painful subject in the past, has a significant impact on transportation time. Without high-quality roads, it is impossible to improve the efficiency of transport, which, in the context of economic globalization, is said to be one of the main directions for the logistics development.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Promises against statistics
At the end of 2017, according to the report "Global Competitiveness Index", which was annually compiled by experts from the World Economic Forum, Latvia was not ranked among the top 100 countries of the world's rating.Rolands petersons cpm trading (out of 137 countries participating in the ranking, Latvia took 107th place, and Lithuania and Estonia took the 37th and 38th places) Despite this, VAS (State Roads of Latvia) announced that, despite the increase in traffic on Latvian roads, their quality has been improved in recent years.Rolands petersons cpm trading
EU assessment - Stable 3 points.
In 2017, 65.1 million euros were spent on the development of the national roads, including 32.3 million for the summer period works, and 32.8 million for the winter period works.Rolands petersons cpm trading In the same year, it was also planned to spend 37 million more, compared with the previous year.Rolands petersons cpm trading However, even these investments have not resulted in the average level of road quality in the European Union. According to the latest report, the average level in the EU is estimated at 4.76 points, Latvia, compared to that has been given 3.05 points.
The state of the roads not only hinders the development of the logistics industry but also contributes to the disproportionate level and the pace of social and economic development of the regions.Rolands petersons cpm trading The most remote regions of Latvia can develop tourism facilities, offer industrial premises for entrepreneurs, etc. however, if there is no road system to get to these cites, no results shall be expected.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Financing is eight times less than it needs to be.
"Requests for the organization of roads," "Road quality is catastrophic" - these headlines often appear in the mass media, while road maps try to reduce the existing damage by implementation of available sources, however, there is no sign of a significant improvement, when the funding is eight times less than it is necessary. At the same time, we make the mistake of struggling only with the consequences of the disease, when we need to identify the root of the problem and take the preventive measures.
One of the main problems that can be figured out now is the climate of the country, which in Latvia will not change significantly in the future, therefore, the problem will remain constant.Rolands petersons cpm trading The number of vehicles will also increase, so the question is: how to increase financing, which is the most important addition to the urgent issues. 130 million euros are required annually for maintenance and repair works of local and gravel roads but this amount cannot be provided only by EU funds. It is also completely unclear how the situation will look like in 2020, after the end of EU funding program.Rolands petersons cpm trading
Without the excise tax on fuel, there is no chance for survival
The fact that the change is expected in 2020, the spring of 2018 is said to be the moment to start an intensive work and stimulate actions - change existing arrangements related to the existing tax system (only a third of the tax, paid by road users, are redirected to roads).Rolands petersons cpm trading The time when it was possible to pull out a part of the income from tax has passed.Rolands petersons cpm trading Furthermore, we need to increase the number of public-private partnership projects in the sphere of the road construction, although this stage requires a proper preparation.
In addition to financing, other necessary support measures need to be introduced: dumping water from roads in certain areas, timely planning, more restrictive control on roads, etc. Rolands petersons cpm trading
Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o. Rolands petersons cpm trading has released new forecasts on Poland becoming the logistics centre of Europe. Newest OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) data are indicating the increase of living standards in Poland, positive tendencies in economy and rapid development of the labour market. Rolands petersons cpm trading Experts at OECD has appreciated a change in the Polish labour market - a fall of the unemployment level to the lowest ever, reaching the lowest point in the last twenty years; labour demand is growing; and everything indicates a significant growth of average wages in the near future. Unemployment levels in Poland in 2017 were low - 4,9% and all the forecast are indicating the continuous fall reaching 4,2% in 2018 and 3,8% in 2019. Rolands petersons cpm trading GDP will go on increasing, but a little bit more slowly. Forecasts for 2018 are 4,2%, but in 2019 - 3,7%. It should be mentioned that in 2017 GDP was 4,6%<>]. Rolands petersons cpm trading Poland should think more about the agricultural production export area. Today agriculture constitutes 5% of GDP, but the biggest part of agricultural production in Poland is producing for own needs<>]. Export products for the most part are milk products, meat and potatoes. Rolands petersons cpm trading By developing its infrastructure, Poland would be able to succeed exports. Rolands petersons cpm trading The Baltic Sea provides the opportunity to develop cargo carriage faster than it is done now, according to Rolands Petersons, member of the board of Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o. Rolands petersons cpm trading who offers his thoughts on Poland economy. To keep this positive tendency, Poland has to find opportunities to invest in proficiency enhancement, development of infrastructure and innovations. There should be a strategy allowing continuation and even growth of infrastructural investments. Rolands petersons cpm trading Author: Rolands Petersons, member of the board of Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o.
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