Chiasso, 31.1.2012 – In 2011 combined transport operator Hupac achieved a 6.6% increase in its transport volume. The sluggish expansion in international railway infrastructures is cause for concern, however.
Transport volume In the past year, combined transport operator Hupac of Switzerland moved a total of 723,894 road shipments by rail. While two-digit growth rates were achieved in the first semester, business declined sharply in the fall as a result of another economic downturn. The strongest growth was generated by transalpine transports via Austria. A factor contributing substantially to the success of this was the clearance gauge on the Brenner axis, which makes the transport of modern, high-volume semi-trailers with a corner height of 4 meters possible. Non-transalpine transports comprising the Benelux-Austria/Hungary/Romania, Benelux-Poland/Russia and Belgium-France/Spain routes added to the positive result with an increase of 12.6%. Hupac’s core business, transalpine transports through Switzerland, was up modestly by 1.8%. Storms, strikes and line closures due to accidents had a negative impact on the result.
Infrastructures - later, fewer, not at all? Hupac welcomes the pragmatic and realistic approach of the 2011 intermodal shift report of the Swiss Federal Office of Transport and expects that the targeted shift volume will be attained quickly by taking specific measures. However, Hupac noted with concern that the freight traffic route Bellinzona-Luino-Novara, which accommodates 80% of unaccompanied combined transports via Gotthard, is gradually disappearing from the sight of the international infrastructure strategists. Urgently required improvements allowing significant advancements in productivity with a minimum of resources, such as the extension of passing rails, are being shelved. For the construction of a 4-meter corridor, on the other hand, the route via Chiasso is given preference, regardless of the fact that the existing major terminals in Novara and Busto Arsizio-Gallarate are not accessible via this line. According to Hupac’s managing director Bernhard Kunz “this depreciates the investments of the past twenty years on the Luino route.” Establishing equivalent infrastructures for combined transports along the Chiasso route is expected to require considerable investments and very long time. Kunz added: “If freight traffic infrastructures are developed according to the principle ‘later, fewer, not at all’ we will not see any progress in intermodal shift. A 4-meter corridor on the Luino route for the current transport volume has top priority and the Chiasso route has second priority for future transports.”
|Transport development |
Number of road shipments
| 2010 ||in % |
| || || || |
|Transalpine via CH ||431.923 ||424.176 ||1,8 |
|Transalpine via A ||53.053 ||42.792 ||24,0 |
|Total transalpine ||484.976 ||466.968 ||3,9 |
|Non-transalpine ||238.918 ||212.098 ||12,6 |
|Total traffic ||723.894 ||679.066 ||6,6 |