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Oct 03, 2018

Container shipments on Trans-Sib increased by 22% between January and August 2018

"The volume of containerised freight shipments along the China-Europe route through all border crossings, including via Kazakhstan, increased by 77% as of the end of 2017 and amounted to more than 262,000 containers," said Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways.

Belozerov was speaking at the plenary meeting of the Coordination Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation in Sochi on 3 October 2018.

"This record figure will be exceeded by a big margin this year. Between January and August 2018, the Trans-Siberian transported over 590,000 containers, 22% more than during the same period last year. At the same time, transit shipments increased to 128,000 units," said the head of Russian Railways."

Belozerov said that the highest growth was between China and Europe. The United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA), for example, a joint venture consisting of companies from Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, transported 157,000 containers between January and August 2018, 1.5 times more than in the same period during 2017.

Speaking about the prospects for the development of Trans-Siberian transportation, Oleg Belozerov said that work was currently underway to develop the infrastructure of the Trans-Siberian railway and the Baikal-Amur Main Line (BAM), whose throughput should increase to 180 million tons by 2024.

As a result, the transportation of large quantities of raw materials can be switched to BAM and therefore free up considerable capacity for the development of accelerated regular container services along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

This will create the conditions for a fourfold increase in transit container traffic and facilitate a reduction in the transportation time from the Far East to Russia’s western border to just 7 days.

The head of OJSC Russian Railways expressed confidence that attracting additional freight to the Trans-Siberian route was closely connected, among other things, with the increasing digitalisation of international rail transport.

"The introduction of the CIM/SMGS electronic consignment note and cooperation with state regulatory authorities on electronic documents can lend a great impetus to the route’s development," said Oleg Belozerov. He added that as part of this work, Russian Railways and Russia’s Federal Customs Service had signed a joint action plan for completing customs operations in electronic form.

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