Rail Freight

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Rail freight is an efficient and convenient mode of freight forwarding favoured by many companies in the heavy industry, mining industry, petrochemical industry and other sectors. The specialists of Ursus Forwarding are professionals in the freight forwarding sector with extensive practical experience in organising rail freight for our customers in Latvia and abroad.
Rail Freight

Rail Freight services

Our range of services includes the organisation of rail freight and all related ancillary services, such as the transport of goods from your enterprise or production facility to the origin freight station, loading of large-size machinery, freight insurance, customs formalities and delivery from the destination freight station to the consignee.

Types of rail freight transport

Rail freight is available for the following types of freight:

General cargo

These are simple, general consumer goods that can be counted, packed or placed on pallets, for example, the specific nature of which does not require the use of specialised railcars for transport. They are normally transported in closed railcars without additional requirements for controlled temperature, for example. Any cargo corresponding to the above characteristics may be considered general cargo.

Dry bulk cargo

This type of cargo is not loose and its particles are not homogeneous. It is carried by full railcars, without using additional containers and without counting the number of compartments or the quantity of pieces. Some of the most popular dry bulk cargo types carried by rail are coal, ore and fuel wood. These types of cargo often take up an entire freight train.

Liquid cargo

This type of cargo is carried in cylindrical tanks.

The most popular types of liquid cargo carried by rail are petroleum products, various acids, oils and other liquids.

Tanks are classified into several types and are selected depending on the specification of the cargo to be transported.

Oversized (outsize) cargo

Thanks to the high carrying capacity, rail freight is ideally suited for oversized (outsize) cargo. Such cargo is usually carried on special rail platforms that can be classified into several types and used depending on the dimensions and weight of the cargo being carried.
As a general rule, such cargo includes industrial equipment, military equipment, agricultural machinery, etc.

Loose cargo

This is cargo consisting of a large number of homogeneous pieces, grains or particles. The main feature of such cargo is its looseness, therefore rail freight of such cargo requires sealed containers preventing the spillage of goods.
The most common loose cargo is grain, which is carried in specially designed railcars.

Refrigerated freight

Refrigerated freight includes perishable goods, as well as freight whose chemical composition or other properties require maintaining a controlled temperature throughout the entire journey. Depending on the type of cargo to be carried, refrigerator railcars can maintain both a refrigerated and warm climate in the cargo compartment, thereby protecting the cargo from the effects of different outside conditions.

Advantages of rail freight

As with any other mode of transport, rail freight has its advantages which are worth paying attention to when choosing the right solution for your cargo.

Freight capacity

Compared to other modes of transport, the railcar is the leader in terms of carrying capacity. Rail freight enables the carriage of oversized (outsize) cargo with a weight of up to 60 tonnes. One freight train carries a total of approximately 500 tonnes of cargo. In comparison, the carrying capacity of one road freight vehicle is only up to 24 tonnes. Coal, ore, grains, construction materials, cement, petroleum products, metal are the most common goods carried by rail.

Costs and predictability

One of the key advantages of rail freight is its cost, which in most cases is lower than that of road freight. Trains are also much less likely to experience technical issues. They are less dependent on weather conditions, there are no traffic jams on the tracks and trains run according to schedule. These conditions reduce the possibility of unexpected situations occurring on the transport route to a minimum and also ensure excellent predictability of delivery times.


Rail freight is a relatively safe mode of transport. Sealing of railcars ensures the safety of the cargo and reduces the possibility of unauthorised access to the railcar interior. Statistics show that unauthorised opening of railcars or damaged cargo occurs much less frequently than, for example, in the case of road freight. Accident statistics also show that in terms of safety rail freight is ahead of road freight, where road accidents are, unfortunately, much more common.


Thanks to the huge variety of railcars, rail freight is suitable for the carriage of virtually any type of cargo. Rail freight is an excellent solution for the carriage of oversized (outsize) cargo, for example. A freight train is capable of carrying large quantities of goods together.

The capacity of one railcar is comparable to the capacity of approximately three trucks.

Disadvantages of rail freight

Aside from the many advantages, rail freight also has some shortcomings, which we recommend noting when considering rail freight for the freight forwarding needs of your company.

Access to railways

The railway network is significantly less developed than the road infrastructure, therefore the use of rail freight comes with the requirement of reload the cargo and deliver it to the final consignee using other modes of freight transport. Road freight, on the other hand, allows the delivery of freight door-to-door without reloading along the way, which can in a way be considered to be a damage risk, because each cargo handling procedure is a mechanical process during which careless behaviour or inappropriate equipment may result in damage to cargo.

Time and mobility

It should be noted that the delivery time by rail will be notably longer than in the case of road freight, for example. The mobility of trains is much lower compared to the road freight vehicles, which can be ordered quickly and arranged for quick delivery from door to door.
Rail freight is more suited for long-distance transport and it is therefore more convenient to use road freight for shorter distances, which also makes more complex transport assignments, such as loading or unloading cargo at multiple locations, possible.

Our range of services includes not only the organization and coordination of the railway freight transportation process, but also the execution of railway freight loading / unloading works, necessary permits and other formalities. During thirteen years, he has gained vast experience in the implementation of numerous complex and large-scale rail freight projects.


Frequently asked questions about rail freight:

What information is required to calculate the price for rail freight?
To calculate the cost, we will need the following information:

  1. delivery terms (Incoterms);
  2. the place of loading (address or terminal);
  3. the place of delivery (address or terminal);
  4. the volume of the cargo;
  5. a description of the cargo;
  6. cargo readiness date and preferred delivery date.

Rail Freight with good reputation

Your best offer for rail freight is just a few clicks away. The quickest way to receive a quote is using the "Get an offer" button. We will be happy to become your trusted logistics partner and take care of your rail freight assignments and related services.


Raunas street 44/1, LV-1039, Riga, Latvia

+371 66100250

E-mail: info@ursus.lv

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