US rail operator RailRunner has partnered with local truck operators in a contract to service Transnet’s 20 000-kilometre rail system from next year. RailRunner was awarded a 20-year contract by Transnet to roll out its dual trailers used for both road and rail cargo.
The Trucking Association of South Africa (TASA) announced that it will partner with RailRunner by linking road to rail.
This partnership will see the trucking industry merging with rail. The RailRunner is an American company that came to South Africa with technology to advance the rail sector in the country.
Transnet signed a 20-year contract with this company in 2016. This contract is aligned with Transnet’s road-to-rail strategy and is expected to lower long-haul logistics costs, ease traffic congestion and reduce infrastructure damage.
TASA President, Mary Phadi, says it will not be phasing out its trucks but will incorporate them into this new business venture.
“TASA has gone into an agreement with the RailRunner increasing production with 20%.”
Project to commence in 2023
The RailRunner units can be transferred from road to rail without the need for cranes. Its trains can be assembled in the absence of a terminal and can carry standard shipping containers.
The Trucking Association says this project will commence sometime next year and will also cover the SADC region.
National Rail Policy
Last week, government launched its National Rail Policy. The policy White Paper aims at creating policy certainty that introduces radical structural reforms and open avenues for investment and competitiveness.
Transnet is currently concluding its bidding process for 16 rail slots that will sold to private rail operators for a period of two years.
National Rail Policy set to get industry back on track: