International Dispatches: Freight rail reports, projects and other news from outside North America


Siemens and a ‘Suez Canal type of link on the tracks’

Siemens Mobility signed a contract with Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) to deliver a comprehensive rail system that will feature the first ever high-speed, electrified main and freight-rail line that “will transform transportation in the Arab Republic of Egypt,” Siemens Mobility officials said on Sept. 1. With partners Orascom Construction S.A.E. and The Arab Contractors, Siemens Mobility will provide turnkey services to design, install, commission and maintain the systems for 15 years. The total contract value: $4.5 billion, of which Siemens Mobility’s share is $3 billion. The contract covers the initial 660 kilometers out of the planned 1,800-kilometer rail network. The parties also plan to discuss and finalize the agreements on the two other high-speed railway lines including rail infrastructure and trains, and maintenance in the coming months. The 660-kilometer line will connect the port cities of Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean, creating “a Suez Canal type of link on the tracks,” said officials at Siemens Mobility, which will deliver Velaro high-speed trains, Desiro high-capacity regional train sets, and Vectron freight locomotives. 

Siemens Siemens Mobility

A few Maersk moves

Integrated container logistics company A.P. Moller - Maersk has invested in California-based WasteFuel, a start-up focused on turning waste into sustainable aviation fuel, green bio-methanol, and renewable natural gas. Maersk’s investment “will enable WasteFuel to develop biorefineries that utilize the most effective technologies available to produce sustainable fuels from unrecoverable waste that would otherwise degrade, and release methane and other harmful emissions into the atmosphere,” company officials said on Sept. 8. … Maersk Canada and Canadian Pacific opened a 117,000-square-foot, 103-door Pacific Transload Express facility “designed to make Asia/Pacific Northwest supply chains more resilient, flexible and cost-effective,” Maersk officials said on Sept. 10. CP will shuttle containers by rail from the three major Vancouver container terminals to the Pacific Transload Express facility. CP built the facility on CP land adjacent to its Vancouver Intermodal Facility to offer optimal transload services with fewer handoffs and better accountability of service. Construction of the facility and rail infrastructure was completed last month; Maersk launched the transloading operation on Sept. 1. ... A.P. Moller-Maersk announced Aug. 27 the company will join the Low Carbon Charter, launched by Hong Kong Business Environment Council. By signing the charter, Maersk is committed to contributing towards Hong Kong’s long-term decarbonization ambition. "We are intensifying our efforts to achieve our ambition of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and support our customers to decarbonize their supply chains," said Daan Slotema, Maersk Asia Pacific's head of legal. "Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading maritime hubs, and I am pleased that we can take part in this significant task which requires collaborative contributions from the shipping and logistics sector." Maersk recently ordered eight large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol.

Global last-mile delivery market value to reach $62.7 billion by 2027 — AllTheResearch forecast

The global last-mile delivery market is expected to reach $62.7 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 18.9% between 2021-2027, according to forecaster AllTheResearch (ATR). The market was valued at $18.7 billion in 2020, ATR officials said on Sept. 2. Last-mile delivery includes transportation of goods and services from distribution hub to the customer’s doorstep. “The business of last-mile delivery is refined and is expected to reach heights in coming years,” ATR officials said. “Many retailers and shoppers are now focusing on last-mile logistics, which would make them stand different in the market. Amazon Prime has transformed into online retail distribution wherein goods and services are delivered in time frame and in proper condition.”