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May 14, 2019

"It is advisable to create centres to coordinate the work of international transport corridors in order to increase freight transit," says Russian Railways head Oleg Belozerov

"International transport corridors passing through the territories of the Commonwealth of Independent States should form the basis of a single Eurasian transport network for the 21st century. This system, based on the 1520 mm broad gauge tracks, is fully vindicating its competitiveness both on "domestic" markets and on the export front in terms of the environment, delivery speeds and client convenience," said Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways.

Belozerov was speaking at the 70th meeting of the Council for Railway Transport of the Commonwealth Member States, which is currently being held in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

According to the Company CEO, in 2018 the members of the Council transported more than 2.032 billion tons of freight by rail, 1.5% more than in the previous year. In the first quarter of 2019, 495 million tons of freight were shipped, 0.4% more than during the same three months in 2018.

At the same time, container transportation continued to grow at an even faster pace, increasing by 12.8% in 2018 and by 15.5% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

Oleg Belozerov drew the attention of the members of the Rail Transport Council to the need for the coordinated organisation of work and the development of interstate division points to increase traffic volumes.

"Recently, the CIS has seen road construction and reconstruction being actively carried out using various technologies and financing schemes. In a few years, unmanned lorries will become a reality, and sea carriers will actively introduce blockchain technologies, which will significantly reduce the time of initial-end operations in ports. Under these conditions, the many hours of idle time spent at borders, especially when the railways are responsible, will become an unnecessary and impermissible luxury," said Oleg Belozerov.

He noted that in order to attract international freight transit to the transport network of the Commonwealth of Independent States, it was of great importance to develop common principles for the creation of through tariffs, which would in turn enable the development of logistics schemes for the provision of international transport at an accelerated pace.

"It is important actively to apply new technologies that make transit transparent for both us and our customers, as well as for the customs authorities, for example monitoring transit freight and ensuring the security of goods using electronic seals," said the head of Russian Railways.

According to Belozerov, the volume of transit container traffic may increase fourfold by 2025 compared to the level of 2017 when taking into account the strategic development plans of the main participants on the container market.

"It is extremely important for the operation of international transport corridors (ITCs) to strengthen cooperation between the various types of transport, primarily at seaports and multimodal terminals. Under these conditions, it is advisable to create control centres for the operation of the ITCs," said Oleg Belozerov.

In the future, the use of information technology may allow the synchronisation of rail traffic management on both the broad gauge 1520 mm space and the narrow 1435 mm tracks in Europe.

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