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“As a rail freight company, of course we want to see greater investment in rail infrastructure, for sound economic reasons,” admits Mr. Ghilardi. “However, there are also urgent environmental and road congestion challenges that could also be addressed by greater use of rail-based transportation solutions.”

Pol-Rail has been active in the rail transport sector for more than 23 years and has risen to a pre-eminent position in its market in that time. “Pol-Rail was founded in 1995 as a joint venture between the Italian and Polish state railways to promote and organize rail transport and logistics services between Italy and Poland and other Eastern European countries,” explains Mr. Ghilardi. “Then as now, the focus was on the transportation of bulk cargoes such as heavy steel, large metal equipment, grain and chemicals.”

Today, Pol-Rail handles 1.0 million tonnes of goods each year and manages 800 trains as well as 450 wagons. These figures also include the activities of subsidiary company Rom-Rail, which was set up around ten years ago to handle services between Italy and Romania.

“At their peak, the two operations generated 100 million EUR in turnover each year with a staff of just 25 people,” says Mr. Ghilardi. “In 2007, restructuring saw parts of the business split off into separate companies.”

Today, Pol-Rail group generates 40 million EUR in turnover and employs 15 people. “Our operational headquarters are in Udine and we also have an office in Milan and financial administration office in Rome,” adds Mr. Ghilardi. “We are still a small company, but one that punches above its weight in the international market. We offer our customers best-in-class logistics services for conventional rail transport from Italy to many Eastern European countries with a wide range of services that includes analysis and development of the optimal forwarding solution, organization of block trains and single forwarding, advanced IT track-and-trace systems linked to the national railways own IT systems, customs clearing, cargo insurance and wagon hire to name just a few.”

Pol-Rail also offers a portfolio of accessory services such as terminal facilties, warehousing and cross-docking as well as complete supply chain management.

Stefano Ghilardi
We offer our customers best-in-class logistics services for conventional rail transport from Italy to many Eastern European countries with a wide range of services. Stefano GhilardiGeneral Director

Pol-Rail’s combination of experience and expertise have won it many leading industrial companies amongst its clients. “We work frequently with big automotive companies like Fiat Chrysler, steel producers like AMS, Duferco and Marcegaglia, and many other companies from the chemicals, food and engineering sectors,” says Mr. Ghilardi who has been with the company since the beginning. “We see ourselves as a leading specialist player in conventional rail transports for bulk goods but are not active in container or intermodular rail transports. We transported the steel and concrete used to build the new stadium in Warsaw for the football European Cup in Poland in 2012. We also transported the first Vatican Christmas tree from Poland to Italy when it was gifted to Pope John-Paul II in 1982 by a Polish municipality from his home region of Zakopane.”

The connections between Poland and Italy clearly run far deeper than just business. Pol-Rail is proud that its business model helps to strengthen those connections and also promote an ecologial alternative to polluting road transportation.

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