In a remarkable start to the year, Ukrzaliznytsia, the state railway company of Ukraine, announced a significant increase in export freight traffic for January 2024. Operational data showed that 7.5 million tonnes of freight were transported in export traffic during the month, a 45% increase compared to January 2023 and a 25% increase compared to November last year, which had previously been the highest month for total freight traffic since the start of the large-scale invasion.
The company's total cargo traffic in January reached 14.1 million tonnes, an increase of 25% compared to the same month last year and the same level as in November 2023. Yevhen Liashchenko, Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia, highlighted the achievement as a positive result in cargo operations, especially noteworthy as January is historically the month with the lowest cargo traffic. He attributed these results to the efficient operation of Ukraine's sea corridor, which resulted in record export cargo volumes, accounting for 53% of total January traffic.
Grain, coal and iron and manganese ore were the leading commodities in the export structure. Grain exports amounted to 3.4 million tonnes, a 12.2% increase from January 2023, while exports of iron and manganese ore surged 2.6 times, reaching nearly 3 million tonnes.
Domestic traffic also increased slightly to 5.6 million tonnes, up 2.7% on the previous year. Import traffic by rail saw a significant jump, with an increase of 65.2% compared to January 2023, totaling 921 thousand tonnes.
In 2023, Ukrzaliznytsia transported 148.4 million tonnes of freight in all types of traffic, consistently moving an average of 23% more freight per month from March to December than in the same period in 2022, demonstrating the company's robust response to the challenges posed by the massive invasion.