The management of RailRunner announced that they intend to reorganise and restructure the company during insolvency proceedings.

US intermodal freight company RailRunner launched its first services in Europe on July 31 2017 with the start of a daily flow between Bratislava, Slovakia, and Braunschweig, Germany, using Huckepack craneable mega-trailers, swapbodies, containers, and pocket wagons.

The company had planned to expand its offering to include its Terminal Anywhere solution, which would enable lorry trailers to be loaded onto RailRunner bogies, an operation the company said would take just two minutes.

While RailRunner says it provided general intermodal services for more than 200 customers, much of its business was directed towards automotive parts and components traffic.

RailRunner says several factors have limited its ability to scale its European-based services, including:

  • long latencies in loading and unloading trailers at plants and warehouses, which increased first and last mile costs
  • extensive periods of limited acceptable rail service due to track infrastructure reconstruction on the company’s single route through the Elbe valley, and
  • demands for extremely long payment periods from customers in the market segments the company serves.

Recent extreme weather conditions in Germany and southeast Europe as well as the poor general industrial outlook have added additional pressure on revenue and cash flows.

“RailRunner Europe has made tremendous strides in providing consistent, high-quality service over the past 18 months using traditional intermodal pocket wagons and GPS-equipped craneable trailers from leading trailer manufacturers,” says Mr Charles Foskett, a RailRunner Europe managing director and CEO of parent company RailRunner.

“While large challenges still remain, under this more controlled environment we will have the opportunity to mitigate some of the market externalities as well as to focus on our internal operations and improve our financial performance for the benefit of all of our customers and commercial partners.”