In 2019, the ČD Cargo Group transported a total of 65 million tonnes of goods on its own licenses, which means a slight year-on-year decline in volumes. However, in the domestic transport market, ČD Cargo stabilized its market share and continued to expand abroad.
"Last year showed us how quickly the situation on the transport market can change and how ČD Cargo is dependent on the development in some industries. After the successful first half of 2019, we had to deal with a performance decline in a number of key commodities, due to reduction in the electricity production from fossil fuels in the Czech Republic, the European situation in metallurgical production and lower output of the automotive industry. All the more important for us is the continuing expansion abroad, where we are looking for new business opportunities. We are already active in Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia and we will further expand the territory to be able to satisfy the requirements of our customers in a pan-European context," states the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČD Cargo, a.s., Ivan Bednárik.
An important part of the company's strategy is the renewal of the technical equipment and the entry into foreign markets. These more capital-intensive activities must be supported by a number of investments, which, together with higher electricity prices and rising personnel costs in line with the labor market situation, have contributed to a slight year-on-year decline in profit.
Ivan Bednárik adds: "The year 2019 was characterised by the modernization of the fleet of wagons and locomotives, where we are allocating the maximum of our resources. We have acquired further interoperable locomotives, as well as new diesel locomotives for the collection and distribution of single wagon consignments. We have expanded our wagon fleet with new large-capacity JUMBO tank wagons, universal open top box wagons of the Eanos series and flat wagons for the transport of a wide range of commodities using swap bodies. We are also modernizing our existing transport capacity so that it can be used for the international transport of goods in the long-term."
At the turn of 2019/2020, a viral disease called COVID-19 began to spread in China. In March of this year, it was already clear that this was a global pandemic. Most European countries have gradually taken a number of measures to slow the spread of the virus. It is very difficult to estimate how long this situation will last and what the impact will be on the domestic and global economy. "Our goal in the current situation was and remains to maintain the operation of rail freight transport in full and to eliminate the negative effects of this crisis on our company as much as possible. We have taken a number of unpopular measures because we do not want to and cannot rely solely on potential state assistance. We do not have an easy period ahead of us, but I believe that in recent years we have built a strong and stable company that will defend its position in the European transport market," added the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
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