SOZHT proposes to allow private security companies escort cargoes by rail transportation

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SOZHT – union of Russian rail operators and rolling stock owners – appealed to the Ministry of Transport with a proposal to allow private security companies to escort cargoes by rail transportation.

Presently security services are provided by the Ministry of Transport security service – FGP Departmental Security on railway transport of the Russian Federation. SOZHT notes that despite there is a contract signed with the Service, cargoes are not physically escorted, and cases of theft and ruin of cargo ‘en route’ are frequent.

Operators propose, that private operators should be allowed to render service by rail transportation. The initiative is supported by such companies as Rusagrotrans, Transcontainer, Eurosib, TRANSOIL, Transgarant and Vostok-1520, while the two most major operator – Federal Freight and Freight One have not decided yet.

RZD does not support the proposal saying it is complicated from the technological point of view, as would require private companies to have base facilities along railways routes and on-board accommodation for guards.

According to expert estimates, the annual turnover of the security service subordinated to the Ministry of Transport is over 3 billion rubles /USD 70 million/ a year. The cost of security services is about 2 per cent of the rail freight rate payable to RZD.