"Our goal is to make freight transport by the Trans-Siberian route reliable, fast and cheap", says Belozerov
The 24th plenary meeting of the international association "Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation" took place in the Austrian capital Vienna on 10-11 November 2015. It was attended by the President of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, Members of the Board and representatives from the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the Organisation for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) and the International Union of Railways (UIC).
"Today's meeting is being attended by about 200 representatives from 27 countries, which underlines above all the relevance of the Coordinating Council. I am honoured to lead this prestigious international association, which brings together more than 100 rail, shipping and operating companies and seaports," said Oleg Belozerov.
In his speech Belozerov noted that, despite the overall decline in Trans-Siberian transport in the current year, as a whole there had been positive changes on the route.
"Last year, the Trans-Siberian Railway transported nearly 2 million TEU containers [Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units], of which more than 750,000 were international shipments. During the 9 months of 2015 so far, the volume of traffic on the Trans-Siberian fell by almost 8% compared to the same period in 2014 and amounted to a little more than 1.2 million TEUs. Of these, about 500,000 containers were international shipments," said the President of Russian Railways.
However, Belozerov also said that in these conditions, the carriers had started to compete much more actively for clients by providing new services and increasing the number of delivery routes.
Special attention is also being paid to the creation of the necessary transport and logistics infrastructure. Russian Railways is implementing a project to modernise the railways in Russia's eastern regions, which will increase both delivery speeds and transportation efficiency, as well as provide the ability to transport an additional 66 million tons of freight every year.
As part of the project to connect the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Korean Main Lines, Russian Railways has reconstructed the railway stretch between Khasan (Russia) - Rajin (North Korea) and built a universal cargo terminal at the port of Rajin.
In addition, work is continuing on the project to build a new Eurasian transport corridor by extending the broad gauge 1520 mm track to Bratislava and Vienna in order to maximise the link between the railway system in Central Europe and the Asia Pacific region via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
According to Oleg Belozerov, the Company will also ensure the high quality of transportation necessary to build a favourable regime of customs procedures.
"In this regard, we are working closely with the Federal Customs Service of Russia. In order to implement procedures regarding the prior notification of the customs authorities, we are developing an information exchange system between Russian Railways and the Federal Customs Service as part of electronic data exchange", he said.
The E-Train project of the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation confirms the Federal Customs Service's readiness to take part in the experiment on using mobile navigation and control devices, including the development of automation technology, to simplify and expedite customs procedures at border stations.
"The development of the Trans-Siberian Railway as the backbone of international importance is an integrated project which takes into account the needs of market participants, as well as new technological opportunities. Only in this way can competitive transcontinental routes and an increased role for the national railway companies be achieved. You and I have one common goal - to make the transport of goods by the Trans-Siberian route reliable, fast and cheap for our customers," said Oleg Belozerov.