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Kazakhstan Reveals Plans on Trans-Caspian Route

Kazakhstan has revealed its plans on Trans-Caspian international transport route.

Kanat Alpysbayev, the Deputy Head of Kazakhstan Railways JSC, told Trend that the Central Asian nation eyes starting regular flights on the route in 2016 and sending 53 container trains via it by the end of the year.

He believes that a number of issues remain unresolved, in particular the timing of development of port infrastructure, further optimization of the tariff conditions and automation of process of management of transport corridors. It is necessary to optimize the empty runs, which affect the cost of transportation.

The Trans-Caspian route connects China with Europe via the territory of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. This is a multimodal corridor which uses railway, maritime and road transport for transportation of goods.

The Trans-Caspian route enjoys an opportunity to become attractive and profitable for consignors from European countries. This route will transport approximately 300,000-400,000 containers by 2020.

Three test container trains have already been sent from China to Europe via this corridor. This project, being very profitable, has involved even Ukraine, the territory of which will make the delivery of goods to customers even faster.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine have signed a protocol on setting preferential tariffs for cargo transportation via this route, and the final document on resolving the technical problems is expected to be signed this February. Signing of this document will likely lead to full commercial operation of the Trans-Caspian route in March.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have agreed to establish an international railway consortium to organize and develop regular container traffic through the Trans-Caspian route. This consortium will include KTZ Express (a subsidiary of Kazakhstan Railways), the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, Azerbaijani Karvan Logistics and Trans Caucasus Terminals (a subsidiary of Georgian Railway).

This route is attracting the attention of the transport and logistics communities of China, Turkey, Ukraine and European countries, which are looking for new routes of supply of their products to foreign markets.

In January 2016, the Ukrainian Railways, the Ukrainian Ukrferry shipping company and the Romanian TRANSLOGIST SRL company have expressed intention of joining the Committee of the Trans-Caspian international transport route.

Earlier, Azerbaijan Railways reported that Germany has expressed interest in joining the Trans-Caspian route.

The number of orders for transportation cargo from Ukraine to Central Asia through Azerbaijan has increased. Currently, works for attracting cargo from Germany are underway. The results in this regard will be achieved in the near future.

Being the cheapest and most profitable corridor for freight traffic, the Trans-Caspian route is expected not to have an alternative in the coming decade.