May 16, 2013

Hupac revenues down but profits rise

Written by  Anitra Green
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Hupac revenues down but profits rise Hupac

SWISS intermodal operator Hupac achieved a small profit of SFr 4.4m ($US 4.5m) last year, up 65.6% on 2011, despite a drop of 7.8% in total revenues to SFr 454.5 million.

Traffic declined 10.7% to 646,214 road units, equivalent to 1.3 million TEU, mainly due to the continuing economic problems in Europe, especially in Italy. Transalpine traffic through Switzerland fell by 11.9%, and like other operators in this market Hupac was hit by the total closure of the Gotthard line for 40 days as a result of landslides, and restrictions on the use of the Lötschberg/Simplon line due to upgrading work.

By contrast, Transalpine traffic via Austria increased by 0.7% to 53,425 road units. Transalpine traffic as a whole accounts for about two-thirds of Hupac's business; one of its main concerns is the planned upgrade of the Gotthard line, including north and south access, for 750m-long freight trains with a P400 loading gauge. Hupac is lobbying hard for this, as board chairman Mr Hans-Jörg Bertschi points out: "Without this expansion of the line as far as the terminals in Italy, the benefit of the entire corridor will be practically null and void."

Hupac is one of Europe's largest intermodal railfreight operators and runs around 100 trains a day.

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