“Last year was a turning point for railway freight. The industry managed to recover from the decline, the lowest point of which was in 2017. It is too soon to celebrate last year’s grown, because this industry remains dependent on external risks and flaws caused by internal factors of the transit corridor,” says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics board member Ivars Landmanis.
As an example Landmanis mentions the lack of efficiency in the way LDz organizes different processes and its monopoly on the free market, which only serves to reduce Latvia’s international competitiveness.
BATL is also worried about the small amount of attention LDz puts on cost-efficiency of investment projects associated with free ports.
“We have voiced our shock about the lack of efficiency in different processes, which causes costs go up, forcing their coverage to be financed from the pockets of the industry and its clients. As a result of this, Latvia loses its competitiveness in the region. To compensate this, cargo handlers and stevedores are forced to reduce their income, often working on the brink of losses,” he said.
Transit is one of the most important national economy sectors for Latvia. This is why it is important to not lose its potential, and instead develop it, says BATL board member.
Landmanis stresses that the priority of the ministry responsible for the industry should be reducing transit corridor costs to make it easier for Latvia to compete with its neighbors. This is important if we want to improve cooperation with existing partners (incl. Belarus) and expand to new markets. (BNN/Business World Magazine)