Changes in global cargo flow lead to boost demand for Middle Corridor - AsstrA's head in Kazakhstan (Exclusive interview)

Kazakhstan Materials 19 February 2024 07:59 (UTC +04:00)
Changes in global cargo flow lead to boost demand for Middle Corridor - AsstrA's head in Kazakhstan (Exclusive interview)
Ali Gasimov
Ali Gasimov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 19. Changes in global cargo flow have led to increased demand for the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR, or Middle Corridor), Ramilya Akhmetova, Branch manager of Almaty office of AsstrA Associated Traffic AG, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

Growing demand for the Middle Corridor

Given the changes in global cargo flow and the unstable geopolitical situation, there is an increase in the active use of this route in international cargo transportation. Cargo from the European Union is sent to Georgia's ports, from where it is transported by road or rail to the port of Alat (Azerbaijan), then through the railroad crossing to the ports of Kuryk or Aktau.

The route links China with Europe through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and further through the Black Sea and offers an alternative to traditional routes. International logistics companies, complying with the requirements of shippers as well as sanctions restrictions, are choosing this route, even though so far it can increase the cost of transportation by 1.5 times.

It is worth noting that the capacity of a number of sections of this route is limited, and there are challenges associated with this. To minimize risks, AsstrA implements the practice of having our agents present at critical sections. We also carefully control the process of document execution to ensure uninterrupted and efficient transportation.

Market interest in the Middle Corridor

We are analyzing how much the market is interested in the Middle Corridor (TITR), with an eye on how the needs and supply capabilities are changing. The main thing is the demands of our customers. We see customers' interest in alternative routes, so despite technical and documentation challenges, we are actively working to improve service on this route and optimize processes. Since the route is still at the stage of formation, especially in terms of infrastructure, our specialists calculate possible risks in advance and try to find possible solutions to problems in advance, before they occur.

The statistics show that interest in this route is a marketing trend.

Demand for freight transportation along the TITR has grown strongly in 2023. For example, the volume of freight traffic along the Middle Corridor in 2022 was 1.6 million tons, while in 2023, the figure rose to 2.75 million tons, an 86 percent increase compared to 2022.

Kazakhstan as an important transport hub

Kazakhstan, located centrally in Eurasia, is an important hub for international transportation lines. Kazakhstan's land is traversed by five railway and eight road corridors, connecting the large economies of China and Europe while also facilitating access to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. This critical position places the country as a cornerstone in the global logistics network.

Transportation of goods for Kazakh customers

The types of cargo that we transport for our customers to/from Kazakhstan are varied. According to internal statistics, the most popular are oil and gas industry products, such as oils and various equipment; food industry - export of grain products, metallurgical industry goods, transportation of fertilizers, household chemicals, electrical equipment, as well as fashion and beauty items.

The company's partnerships extend beyond Kazakhstan. AsstrA operates as an international group of companies with a broad geographical presence. AsstrA forges partnerships with suppliers and agents in every region, offering mutually advantageous terms for cooperation. Our partners include direct carriers, transport owners, and forwarders, who prioritize reliability and business stability.

Expansion plans, particularly in Kazakhstan

We have ambitious plans for the development of AsstrA in Kazakhstan; in particular, this concerns expanding the network of offices. For example, we plan to open representative offices in Aktau and Astana. Our efforts are aimed at increasing orders and expanding our customer base, especially in industrial project logistics.

The company is also actively developing a partner network to provide warehouse areas.

Since AsstrA is an international company, we think on an interstate scale, understanding that effective, uninterrupted logistics requires interaction between experts and representatives of different regions. Therefore, the development strategy also includes strengthening our presence in the regional markets of the Caucasus and developing offices in Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia).

The company will continue to actively strengthen professional skills and improve the qualifications of its employees. Our goal is to make a significant contribution to the successful development of AsstrA in Kazakhstan and neighboring regions.