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Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector

Transport Materials 24 January 2021 09:30
Weekly review of main events in Azerbaijan's transport sector

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24

By Sadraddin Aghjayev - Trend:

Azerbaijan has completed all work on the implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) Project in the territory of the country, the project which will create opportunities for regional cooperation, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies told Trend.

According to the ministry, the project will also greatly reduce the distance and delivery time from India, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries of the Persian Gulf to Northern and Western Europe and back.

"It’s planned to start construction of a road bridge on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border soon, which will continue for one year," the ministry said. "Moreover, the work on the construction of the Baku - state border with Russia highway, which is expected to be completed by late 2021, is underway."

The ministry noted that in March 2018 the first stage of the Astara-Astara railway project was launched and the foundation of the grain terminal was laid. On March 6, 2019, the Qazvin-Rasht section of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan) railway was opened, which will become part of the INSTC. The Rasht-Astara railway (Iran) is planned to be built soon.

Along with overland transportation projects, the ministry also noted importance of maritime transport within international transport corridors passing through Azerbaijan.

"The importance of sea transport is related to the low cost of cargo transportation by sea transport compared to other types of transport and the relatively high carrying capacity of ships," said the ministry.

"Successfully implemented initiatives to enhance the role of the Caspian Sea in cargo transportation, improve the transport infrastructure in Azerbaijan, modernize the transportation fleet, control ship standards, as well as organize high-level management of ship traffic systems in the seaport water area and in all territorial waters of Azerbaijan to increase the potential of the country in the field of maritime transport," the ministry added.

The ministry also stressed that work continues to take the necessary measures to strengthen the leading positions of Azerbaijan as a logistics and transport center and increase its competitiveness, as well as to develop all transport corridors passing through the country, and to increase the volume and quality of transit traffic on these corridors.

Along with the above, Azerbaijan and Iran signed an agreement on cooperation in the railway sector, a subsidiary of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, ADY Express LLC, told Trend.

According to the company, the heads of the Azerbaijani and Iranian railway authorities Javid Gurbanov and Said Rasuli signed an agreement to expand cooperation between the countries.

Besides, during the 14th meeting of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan, several important customs agreements were reached.

As it became known to Trend, the customs memorandum of understanding was included in the document on cooperation between the two countries for development as a separate direction.

Another remarkable event in Azerbaijan’s transport sector has been the draft agreement on the TRACECA single transit permit, developed by the Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission of TRACECA.

"Taking into account the fact that the use of digital technologies in the field of transport and logistics will increase the efficiency of transport, it’s important to create a digital transport corridor by using modern information systems that envisage electronic interaction with the state regulatory bodies," the ministry told Trend on Jan.22.

Rufat Bayramov, Permanent Representative of National Secretary of the Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission of TRACECA, said that drivers will no longer need to stay at the checkpoints of countries for the issuance of new documents because the single transit permit allows the carrier to save time and simplifies the process of cargo transportation.

"It’s also necessary to take into account that the provisions of this Agreement apply to the international cargo transportation by vehicles in transit across the borders of at least three or more countries and for using maritime transport," Bayramov stressed.

The construction of the Astara cargo terminal has become one of the major infrastructure projects implemented by the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC within the North-South and South-West routes. The first stage of construction was completed three years ago, and at that time the terminal received the first freight train, said a source in the company.

According to the source, the dry cargo terminal and container yard were built at the expense of the Azerbaijan Railways’ funds, while the grain terminal is being built at the expense of foreign investments. Along with construction work, the terminal continues receiving and unloading cargo.

As reported, Azerbaijan Railways is carrying out work to improve cargo operations. Within this work, a new company was established - Astara Terminal LLC. One of the main functions of the company will be the coordination of work between the various modules of the terminal complex, the centralized reception of goods, and the conduct of operations.

Astara Terminal LLC will act as a single dispatcher fully controlling the movement, loading, and other operations on the tracks inside the terminal, raising it to the level of the cargo station of the Astara terminal. This will contribute to an increase in profitability, carrying capacity, and, as a result, an increase in the volume of cargo transshipment.

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