The struggle for the Chinese transit escalates

The struggle for the Chinese transit escalates

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Railways of neighbouring States may be taken with the TRANS-Siberian to 5 million tons of annual transit cargo traffic from China

Photo: TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

The heads of the railway administrations of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed the documents on establishment of “Association of TRANS-Caspian international transport route” (TITR). The creation of an Association aimed at the development of the path, which passes through the territories of three neighboring Russia States, as a major transport corridor of Eurasia, the press service of JSC “NC “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” (KTZ “Kazakhstan Railways”).

The main emphasis in the work of the organization will be placed on attracting transit and foreign trade cargo, as well as on the development of logistics products on the route. To improve the competitiveness of the route will have to solve a number of technical issues, as well as to remove administrative barriers. These difficulties do not allow experts to consider the TRANS-Caspian route as a serious competitive threat to Russia.

— This route announced — created Committee, was a test submission, but regular posts to date there. Goods are where technologies were worked out. This is a key factor of transportation. Today to talk about sustainable technologies of cargo transportation via the TRANS-Caspian route is not necessary, — has told “news” the Secretary General coordinating Council on Transsiberian transportation (CCTT) Gennady Bessonov.

Difficult times for this route today are as its passage through the territories of three States, and provided on the route of the ferry across the Caspian sea that require additional loading and unloading operations, said Bessonov.

In connection with the use of the ferry there is a difficulty in forecasting the timing of the delivery, said the source “Izvestia” in the railway industry. At the same time, now, he said, are inexpensive marine transportation through the southern ports of Europe, with delivery time about 35 days.

— It is difficult to talk about the competitiveness of this route for the price and delivery terms, — said the source.

Does not see a competitive threat in the TRANS-Caspian route and the General Director of the research Institute of railway transport Pavel Ivankin. He noted that to date, this route involves additional costs for the use of the ferry and replaced the wheelset for the railway track.

— The main disadvantages of the route, infrastructure limitations and cost. Today is more a political project than transportation. Although, of course, to lose sight of it it is impossible, says Ivankin.

It is estimated that potentially, given the fact that it will be eliminated all infrastructure constraints, the TRANS-Caspian route is to pull about 5 million tons of transit cargo per year.

But to reach this amount before 2020 route likely will not be able — added Ivankin.

As a result, today, according to experts, rail transportation on the TRANS-Siberian railway remains out of competition — according to Gennady Bessonov, there is a fully developed transportation technologies, we offer a service and there is clear delivery time.

Today the average of the main regions of China to Europe high speed container trains, the goods are delivered in 14 days, — said Deputy Director for sales of JSC “Russian Railways logistics” Alexander Baskakov.

According to reports, the volume of traffic in this area is growing annually by about two times.

— Total for all border crossing traffic volume in the direction China–Europe–China will be about 120-130 thousand TEU (or TEU — the equivalent of 20-foot container. — “News”). RZD logistics in cooperation with a subsidiary East Land Bridge at some stage handles about 70% of this volume, — was noted by Baskakov.

The most popular transit corridors, according to him, today is the southern route (through the border crossing Dostyk), the Northern route (through Zabaikalsk) and Medium route (via Zamyn Uud).

The total volume of transit freights in the direction Asia–Europe and Asia, according to estimates of the joint transport logistic company (JTLC, a subsidiary of Russian Railways and “Belarusian Railways” and “Kazakhstan Railways”), today is about 22 million TEU. This volume of transit freight to China is around 16 million TEU.

In the Eurasian economic Union starting in 2016, UTLC was sent to 762 train and transported about 68 thousand TEU in transit from China to Europe and back.

— Container train UTLC follow the route Dostyk/Altynkol – Brest – Dostyk, overcoming the distance of 5.43 thousand kilometers in 5.4 hours. Thus, the speed of following — more than 1 thousand km a day, and in 2017 it may be increased to 1.15 thousand km a day, — have informed in a press-service of the UTLC.

At the end of this year the company plans to carry about 90 thousand TEU.

— While we focus on a single transit corridor — reserves to improve the efficiency a lot here. Today, with the involvement of service UTLC formed 28 of container shipping routes from China to Europe and back. Sending trains carried on average about 20 times a week, — told “Izvestia” in the UTLC.