January 26, 2016

26/01/2016: Ukraine's new 'Silk Road': container rail link to China bypasses Russia

Image: Roy Luck
On Friday, January 15, Ukraine launched a pilot container train to China bypassing Russia, which will significantly increase the volume of cargos to Asia.

The trial train departed from the port of Illichivsk, running across Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to China. The route includes ferry crossings of the Black Sea (Illichivsk - Batumi) and the Caspian Sea (Alat - Aktau). The container train consists of 20 wagons and will deliver cargo from Ilichivsk to Dostyk (China) within 11-12 days.

The new route is an alternative allowing the redirection of cargo travelling in an eastern direction, bypassing the territory of the Russian Federation, which has completely stopped transit of any goods originating from Ukraine through its territory, regardless of the country of final destination.

The day before, on January 14, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Ukraine signed a protocol on the establishment of feed-in tariffs for cargos via the Trans-Caspian international transport route. The document provides for comprehensive measures to facilitate the movement of trains on the route and increase cargo turnover.

The volume of goods transported between Ukraine and the People's Republic of China in 2015 made up 25.48 million tons, which is 2.25 million tons, or 11 percent, more than in 2014. This is a record figure for the last 10 years. Today, China ranks first as destination for export traffic from Ukraine. Having held first place for the last 5 years, Russia has now dropped to second, with 15.9 million tons.

Visit the Ukraine Government News Portal HERE.

The Global Miller
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