Transport trends and why they are important
2021 is the year declared the European Year of Rail Transport in the EU. And not coincidentally: rail transport has become the most energy-saving, innovative and efficient compared to any other modern one. Its increased use and large-scale investment in infrastructure on a European scale will make it possible to achieve the EU's carbon neutrality objectives more quickly. By increasing its use on a European scale, it is possible to meet carbon targets.
More and more companies are turning to intermodal transport in standard containers, trailers or tank containers. There is a tendency for large seaports to set up "outsourced terminals" in the interior of Europe operating with regular and direct rail links. This inevitably not only creates great logistical conveniences, but also significantly increases the competitiveness and realization of new trade opportunities across Europe, which were previously considered unprofitable.
It is important to note the increasing importance of the Turkish market. There is a 20% growth in international rail freight, which is reflected in the Bulgarian market. This is partly due to the "New Silk Road" and one of its corridors, which passes through Turkey and Bulgaria. Investments in this large-scale infrastructure project place Bulgaria in an extremely important position during the forthcoming economic challenges.
Bulmarket is actively working on technological improvements in its railway staff - from the commissioning of the new SMARTRON trains and the renovation of old ones, to the replacement of the braking systems of the wagons to reduce noise emissions and automate various processes in railway transport. Bulmarket is also involved in a project between Turkey and Central Europe, which will be part of the network connecting the New Silk Road with the Three Seas Initiative (Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas).
In recent years, the European Union has stimulated the reduction of harmful emissions and noise in road transport. Several types of technologies are being developed to help with this - engines powered by natural gas, hydrogen and electricity, significantly reducing emissions compared to standard diesel trucks.
At the moment, the only publicly available alternative technology is natural gas engines. Many countries in the European Union encourage transport with gas-powered trucks by offering subsidies and reductions in tolls compared to standard diesel trucks. Germany is a good example where this type of truck is exempt from paying tolls. In Bulgaria at the moment there is a 50% relief.
Following this trend, Bulmarket opened the first LNG station on the Balkan Peninsula for loading trucks, which is located in Ruse. In this way, LNG trucks will be able to travel between Bulgaria and the rest of the European Union, with which Bulmarket seeks to actively contribute to the goals of the EU Green Deal. The construction of stations in Plovdiv, Burgas and Sofia is forthcoming.
Danube ports are extremely important for the economic development of the Danube region, as they create an opportunity for ecological transport services, creation of new specialized jobs and increase of trade. This is a prerequisite for investments in ports on inland waterways (including rail, road and sea connections) to correspond to the transport infrastructure around them and to regional development plans. Improving port infrastructure and the services it provides is crucial to reducing transport costs. This will increase connectivity, facilitate trade and stimulate trade flows in the Danube region.
Port Bulmarket is actively working in the field with the project "Integration of intelligent and sustainable multimodal and intermodal transport chains in the Danube region" under the cross-border cooperation program Interreg Danube.