Oleg Belozerov: “The transportation of containers by rail between Asia - Europe will grow to 2 million TEUs by 2027”
Oleg Belozerov, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, took part in the panel session of the International Inter-Industry Balance Sheet and Transport Corridors which was held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday on 24 May 2018.
Under discussion was the need to coordinate the efforts of different countries in the development of transport infrastructure to ensure that the demand for increasing freight transport was met.
“We have in fact made serious progress in terms of strategic planning for the development of railways in recent years. Rail transport should under no circumstances become a brake on the development of the national economy and restrain business potential,” said Oleg Belozerov.
The Company CEO also said that in Russia, the greatest growth would be for transit transport. By 2025, the volume of transit freight turnover is expected to increase by a factor of almost 2.3 compared to the level of 2017, much more than the total increase in freight turnover of 1.4 times.
According to Belozerov, shipments of direct container traffic between Asia and Europe will increase to two million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per annum by 2027.
A significant proportion of this growth will be along the Europe – Western China International Transport Corridor, which is projected to see an increase in container transit shipments to one million TEUs per annum.
The head of Russian Railways also noted that as a result of this expected strong growth in freight traffic, various measures to develop rail infrastructure have been planned.
In particular, the updated version of the Russian Railways Long-Term Development Programme provides for the Company’s own investment in infrastructure development to amount to more than 7.2 trillion roubles up to 2025. Taking into account the funds from private investors, the total investment amount will reach 10 trillion roubles.
In addition, the Company is playing an active role in the development of the infrastructure of international transport corridors abroad.
OJSC Russian Railways is working, for example, on developing the infrastructure of the Ulan-Baator Railway, including to increase the attractiveness of transit from China to Europe via Russia.
In the western part of the East-West corridor, a new Eurasian transport corridor is under consideration as one of the priority long-term directions by building a railway line with the 1520 mm broad gauge to Bratislava and Vienna.
Oleg Belozerov also noted the importance of other transport integration mechanisms since, at the moment, the issue of implementing a single transportation document is acute.
“In my understanding, all modes of transport will be in demand, and every one has its own advantage. Our task is to find the optimal transport chain using the intermodal capabilities of all participants in this market,” said Oleg Belozerov.