2017 - a historic year for Azerbaijan's transport sector

2017 - a historic year for Azerbaijan's transport sector

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 2

By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:

2017 can be described as a very successful year for the transport and logistics sector of Azerbaijan. Special attention of the country's leadership to this sector - which has the potential to become the main locomotive of the non-oil sector's development - played a decisive role here.

2017 was remembered by a number of important events and trends - the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, the progress in implementation of other major projects, the growth in freight traffic compared to last year, the work carried out to improve the transport infrastructure and the situation in public transport are the key ones.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

The launch of BTK is certainly the main event of the year. A solemn ceremony to open the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway took place on October 30 at the Baku International Sea Trade Port with participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan, heads of governments of Kazakhstan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, as well as the delegations of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

On the same day, the first freight train was sent along BTK. It carried 32 containers loaded with grain. The train was sent from Kazakhstan's Kokshetau on Oct. 24 and its final destination was Turkish Mersin.

The first cargo transshipment operation along BTK took place at the Akhalkalaki station.

In November, Turkey announced its readiness to begin construction of a second railway line within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars corridor in its territory.

Later, a protocol was signed in Baku, which approved the reduction of tariffs for transportation along BTK in 2018. The tariffs for cargo transportation between Azerbaijan and Turkey on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway were announced in December.

In late November, the first freight train was launched along the corridor in the opposite direction - from Turkey to Central Asia.

The project receives a great and wide coverage - BTK is covered by media outlets of the US, South America, and Asia. A number of countries are interested in using BTK. Specific interest is expressed by Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Belarus, Afghanistan, Russia and even the Netherlands. This year, Azerbaijan will hold a presentation of BTK's potential in China.

The main goal now is to increase the volume of cargo transportation from 6.5 to 17, then to 25 and subsequently to 50 million tons per year.

Trans-Caspian Transport Route (East-West)

In April, the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company CJSC and Kazakhstan Railways JSC established a joint venture for cargo transportation along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TCITR). Also, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine may create a joint venture to introduce the principle of a "single window" in the processing of goods carried through TCITR.

In June, the TCITR International Association signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Association of Transport and Communications of China during a meeting of the corridor participants in Astana.

In 2018, new competitive tariffs will be set for transportation along TCITR. At the same time, the 2018 plan of transportation via TCITR was approved at more than 3.5 million tons, while about 15,000 containers are planned to be transported from Turkey to Kazakhstan, Central Asia and China. Also all railway administrations and ports of the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea set preferential attractive tariffs. TCITR is planned to reach 7-8 million tons of cargo in transportation by 2020.

Also, the TCITR International Association plans to expand the range of transported goods. There are plans to transport 520,000 tons of oil products, 350,000 tons of grain, 364,000 tons of non-ferrous metals and 360,000 tons of coal from Kazakhstan along the route in 2018.

In addition, the TCITR International Association will open a representative office in Istanbul.


The North-South project also took quite big steps in 2017. The route is expected to be fully put into operation in two-three years. In March, a test train was successfully sent via the border railway bridge across the Astarachay River.

In February 2016, Iran began construction of the Qazvin-Rasht and Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan) railroad sections.

The Astara-Astara railway, as well as a station and cargo terminals in Iranian Astara were expected to be put into operation on Dec. 25, but then this was postponed to January 2018. Azerbaijan will use railway facilities in Iranian Astara for at least 15 years.

For the Rasht-Astara railway - another important section of the corridor - Azerbaijan has allocated a $500 million loan for Iran to finance its construction. Construction will begin in the first half 2018. The opening of the 164-kilometer section is planned for 2020, making it possible to travel from Baku to Nakhchivan by train.

In early December, the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved the granting of a loan for implementation of the North-South Transport Corridor Project, as well as for development of the railway sector of Azerbaijan. ADB itself will issue $400 million, and the French Development Agency (FDA) will provide another $175 million in co-financing.

Funds from ADB will be allocated in two tranches of $250 million and $150 million, respectively, while the funds of FDA will be allocated similarly in tranches of $75 million and $100 million. Also, the project provides for $1 million worth of technical assistance.

Cargo transportation along the route is currently being carried out multimodally. Cargoes are delivered from Iran by trucks to Azerbaijan's Astara, and from there by rail to Russia and also to Georgia with the purpose of developing the South-West direction.

Already in January 2018, member countries of the North-South project will discuss the freight transportation to Europe with the operators and freight forwarders of India. Also in January, as expected, India will begin exporting container cargoes to Russia via Iran and Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, cargo transportation along the North-South international transport corridor for three quarters of 2017 exceeded 4.7 million tons, which is 21.6 percent more than the indicator for the same period of 2016.

Baku International Sea Trade Port and Free Trade Zone

In March 2016, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed an order on measures to establish a free trade zone type special economic zone in the Alat Settlement of the Garadagh District of Baku, including the territory of the new Baku International Sea Trade Port.

The work on the establishment of the FTZ is underway.

Furthermore, the first phase of construction is coming to an end in the port itself. The first phase is expected to be completed closer to the middle of 2018, after which the volume of cargo handling will be 1,280 tons per day.

After the completion of the first phase, the Baku International Sea Trade Port will be able to receive up to 10-11 million tons of cargo each year, and annually handle up to 50,000 TEU (standard 20-foot containers). However, as early as 2017, the Port showed a significant increase in cargo handling compared to 2016.

Roadmap for Development of Logistics and Trade

The Strategic Roadmap for the Development of Logistics and Trade, approved in December 2016 by President Ilham Aliyev, remains as a key factor in the development of transport and logistics sectors of Azerbaijan. Under the Road Map, until 2020 it is planned to create 18,900 new jobs, and GDP is planned to increase by 605 million manat.

Growth of cargo transportation

Throughout 2017, the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan recorded an increase in cargo transportation in Azerbaijan.

So, in January-November 2017, transportation sector of Azerbaijan transported 206.2 million tons of cargo, which is 1.8 percent more than the same period of 2016.

In general, the transportation and logistics sector of Azerbaijan is an extremely promising direction of economic development, and the work carried out by the state in this direction gives every reason to expect further success in this segment in 2018.

Turkey to open tender for Canal Istanbul in 2021
Turkey to open tender for Canal Istanbul in 2021
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC receives int'l certificate in use of specialized software
Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC receives int'l certificate in use of specialized software
Loading Bars
Philippines starts rollout of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
US to prepare additional measures against Myanmar after protest break-up
Iran boosts electricity generation volumes at its thermal power plants
Trump proposes new voting limits, rails against "monster" voting rights bill
Brazil registers 34,027 new COVID-19 cases, 721 related deaths
Trump uses CPAC speech to tear into Biden on border crisis, says he won't create new party
Italy's 2020 export to Azerbaijan up in value terms
Israel registers 1,218 new COVID-19 cases, 774,479 in total
US condemned violence against protesters in Myanmar
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 384,000 in past day - WHO
France and Germany to require COVID-19 test for some border crossings
France reports nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases, 122 deaths
Italy’s former PM Conte accepts task of trying to revive 5-Star Movement
Norway's capital tightens lockdown to fight faster virus spread
Iranian minister talks about obstacles related to Iran-Turkmenistan railway lines
Iran dismisses idea of talks with EU and U.S. to revive 2015 nuclear deal
Russia launches its first Arctic-monitoring satellite
European Council President arrives in Tbilisi
Sugar prices in Kyrgyzstan increase by 46% over year
Turkey reports over 8,000 new daily COVID-19 cases, 66 fatalities
Iran’s non-oil trade exceeds $65 billion in 11 months
Moscow hosts trilateral meeting on Karabakh
Before Khojaly, Azerbaijanis thought that they were joking with us - ex-president of Armenia
Africa's confirmed COVID-19 cases near 3.89 mln: Africa CDC
Israel launches 29-mln-USD support plan for SMEs amid COVID-19 crisis
Turkish firm to develop hybrid rocket tech for 2023 moon mission
Iran’s Isfahan Province possesses great potential for construction of greenhouses
UK records another 6,035 coronavirus cases, 144 deaths
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Germany to invest €8 mln in economic development of Aral Sea region
0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff confirmed with Covid-19 this week in Georgia
At least 18 killed in Myanmar on bloodiest day of protests against coup
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 1
Aramco seeks one-year extension on $10 billion loan
Bitcoin extends retreat from record high to hit lowest in 20 days
COVID-19: Kazakh capital returns to ‘red zone’
Azerbaijan shares footage of Chiraguz village of Khojavand district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
French company to generate electricity from waste in Iran's Tabriz
Azerbaijan discloses number of citizens vaccinated against COVID-19
Azerbaijan able to firmly prevent any possible threats - Foreign Ministry
Bloody events in Sumgayit city - planned provocation against Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry (UPDATE)
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 60,000
Georgian journalists and experts visit Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall in Iran
Georgia's export of vegetables down year-on-year
Russia and Azerbaijan are friendly countries - President Aliyev
Russian-Turkish Monitoring Center will function as very important instrument for post-war period - President Aliyev
Armenian soldiers fled leaving two lonely elderly Armenian people behind - President Aliyev
We have no problems with Armenian people - President of Azerbaijan
“Smart village” project will be implemented in three villages of Zangilan district - President Aliyev
When Khojaly genocide was committed, world was silent - President of Azerbaijan
Turkey to open tender for Canal Istanbul in 2021
Armenian side did not provide us with maps of minefields, this can be considered crime - President of Azerbaijan
I can't understand why poster 'Welcome to Azerbaijan!' irritates Armenia in any way - President Aliyev
There cannot be prisoner of war 20 days after war, these are terrorists and saboteurs - President Aliyev
Armenia must fully implement the statement of 10 November - President of Azerbaijan
Some countries purchased three to four times more vaccines than they need - President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan - first country in South Caucasus to start vaccination, says President Aliyev
We have avenged victims of Khojaly on battlefield - President of Azerbaijan
Whole world sees and knows that Azerbaijani people were subjected to genocide at end of 20th century - President Aliyev
Russia’s COVID-19 case tally rises by 11,359
Azerbaijan reports 117 more COVID-19 recoveries
European Council President to visit Georgia today
Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with Arktika-M satellite blasts off from Baikonur spaceport
Certain villages in Iran to be supplied with gas
Bloody events in Sumgayit city - planned provocation against Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijan shares Eyvazkhanbeyli village of Aghdam district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran's Tehran Oil Refining Company signs contract to increase refining
China's factory activity expands at a slower pace in February, misses expectations
Turkey set to support Croatia's post-quake revival: Turkish FM
COVID-19 Update: 83,179 Kyrgyzstanis recovered
Georgia reports 248 coronavirus cases, 525 recoveries, 11 deaths
Iran's Gorgan-Mashhad railway to be built
Trade relations between Azerbaijan and Russian Ulyanovsk region expanding
Weekly review of Azerbaijani ICT sector highlights
UK's Sunak will set out plans to raise income tax by 6 billion sterling
Australia receives AstraZeneca vials as it ramps up vaccination drive
January 2021 value of mortgage loans in Azerbaijan grows in absolute terms
Kazakhstan adds 791 new COVID-19 cases
5.5-magnitude quake hits 81 km SW of Islay (Matarani), Peru
Iranian Minister unveils ports' infrastructure dev't plans
Turkey confirms 9,193 new COVID-19 cases, 2,693,164 in total
S&P Global affirms Georgia’s sovereign credit rating at ‘BB’
Razi COVID-19 vaccine to begin clinical trial: Minister
5 died after accident in northeast China chemical fiber plant
US regulator approves Johnson&Johnson coronavirus vaccine
Kazakhstan twofold decreases exports to Norway amid COVID-19
Iraq reports 3,543 new COVID-19 cases, 692,241 in total
5.3-magnitude quake hits 3 km SW of Point MacKenzie, Alaska
Qatar reports 460 new COVID-19 cases, 163,197 in total
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijani financial market
UK records another 7,434 coronavirus cases, 290 deaths
It is necessary to end deployment of Armenian armed forces on territory of Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry
WHO reports over 420,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Istanbul’s major Galataport project to go live in April
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on February 28
Uzbekistan's largest share in formation of GDP falls on Tashkent
Azerbaijan's revenues from tea, coffee exports double in Jan.2021
Cargo movements in Iran's Khalij-e-Fars port increase
China conditionally approves one-shot recombinant COVID-19 vaccine
All news