Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 13
By Sara Israfilbayova - Trend:
In order to increase attractiveness of the International North-South Transport Corridor, a number of tasks need to be solved, Vyacheslav Valentik, director general of RZD Logistics JSC, told Trend.
He said that these tasks include formation of a through competitive rate considering the use of fitting platforms, construction of infrastructure at the Rasht-Astara section and overcoming of foreign policy challenges associated with the situation in the Middle East.
“There are plans to continue attracting high margin cargoes to this route,” he noted. “If presently, the freight flow mainly goes from the north, in the future there are also plans to activate the flow in the opposite direction - from the south.”
He added that local logistics operators with limited competence, as a rule, don’t want to take risks and prefer to wait until the new route proves itself.
“We, together with our partners in Azerbaijan - the companies ADY Express and ADY Container, are pioneers, we deal with working out technologies and attracting customers,” said Valentik.
He further stressed that in 2018, RZD Logistics JSC continued to actively promote the western branch of North-South corridor among consignors and logistics companies in Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, India and Europe.
“Presently, together with our partners, we are testing the route, verifying technology of transportation, checking the possibilities of transshipment points,” he said. “The traffic volumes via the North-South corridor aren’t very big, however, we see constant positive growth trend - and this is very important.”
In 2018, the company transported 20 percent more cargo along the corridor than in the same period of 2017, he noted.
He added that foodstuffs, combined fodder, consumer goods and forest products dominated among the cargo.
He also noted that in May-June 2018, in terms of container traffic, the company organized the first shipment via North-South corridor from India to Belarus, and 40-foot containers proceeded from Nhava-Sheva and Mundra ports through Bandar Abbas and Astara cities.
In July-August 2018, an import shipment from India to Vorsino city (Russia) was also organized.
The North-South corridor is designed for the transportation of goods from India and the Gulf countries to Russia, Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Cargo transportation by sea through the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea to Helsinki is carried out within 45-60 days, while the North-South corridor decreases the delivery time to 20-25 days.
In order to develop transportation in the region, Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia signed an agreement in 2005 on the construction of 375 km railway in Iran, and in Azerbaijan, between Astara district and Azerbaijan-Iran border, as well as the reconstruction of the existing railway in Azerbaijan.
Follow the author on Twitter: @IsrafilbekovaS