“Russian Railways is working systematically together with its partners to create reliable transport routes in the East - West and North - South directions and to use the 1520mm space to the maximum,” said Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways (RZD) and Chairman of UIC.
Belozerov was speaking at the plenary discussion on “Where Will the 1520 Transport Corridors Lead?” The discussion took place at the XI International Railway Business Forum Strategic Partnership 1520 in Sochi.
As the head of Russian Railways noted, in 2015 Russia exported 111 million tons of freight by rail to neighbouring countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to experts cited by Oleg Belozerov, by 2025 the volume of total freight to the Asia-Pacific, including transit, should increase more than threefold. This rise in international freight transport on the East - West route will contribute to an increase in the capacity of the Baikal-Amur Main Line (BAM) and the development of the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 international transport corridors (ITCs).
Moreover, according to Oleg Belozerov, in the current conditions it was essential to work together to implement measures to improve the quality and completeness of the services on offer, providing customers with convenient freight distribution chains, new transport products and favourable price offers on through routes to reduce the transport component in the costs to shippers.
“We have already established the basis. Our logistics company GEFCO has already been operating for several years on the 1520 Space and has an extensive network abroad. Other affiliated companies and subsidiaries of Russian Railways are also developing their competence and professional skills, such as TransContainer and RZD Logistics,” said the President of Russian Railways.
Together with partners from Belarus and Kazakhstan, the Company is also implementing its first business integration project across the Eurasian Economic Union, where the United Transport and Logistics Company is the operator of rail transit container services between China/South East Asia and Europe.
The North - South International Transport Corridor has seen increasing freight volumes recently following the end of sanctions on Iran. In the first four months of 2016, the volume of traffic between Russia and Iran increased by one quarter.
“I am sure that there is great potential: it is not a question of hundreds of thousands, but of millions of tons of freight. We attach great importance to the development of the North - South International Transport Corridor. The Russian, Iranian and Azerbaijani sides have already confirmed their interest in the development of this corridor,” said Oleg Belozerov.