Nurminen, Nunner, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan focus on the potential of the Trans-Caspian transport corridor
(Photo: interlegal)

Many customers refuse transit shipment through Russia due to the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which seems to present an opportunity for the Trans-Caspian International Transport Corridor. Railway operators and logistics companies are starting to take the Trans-Caspian transport corridor as a new potential route for the transport solution along the New Silk Road.

Nurminen: Commercialization of Trans-Caspian Route with KTZE

Nurminen Logistics Services Oy has today, 16 March 2022, signed an agreement with the Kazakh State Railways (KTZE) agreeing on the commercialization of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. The route starts from Southeast Asia and China and runs through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia to Central European countries.

The cooperation aims to get the test train ready during April-June and launch commercial traffic between July and September. KTZE has already agreed to cooperate with the railway companies of Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and therefore the conditions for organizing the transport corridor are excellent.

The parties also agreed to intensify cooperation on the China-Finland route, focusing on the use of rail wagons registered in Kazakhstan and owned by Kazakhstan companies.

Nunner Logistics will take the route to bypass Russia

According to Eurailpress, the Dutch logistics company Nunner Logistics will in future transport cargo goods via the southern alternative route via Kazakhstan/Turkey in order to bypass Russia.

The cargo will be transported from China via Kazakhstan, by ferry across the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia to Izmit in Turkey and from there via Istanbul by short-distance ship to Trieste and finally to Duisburg. The containers will be delivered by train from Duisburg to the final destinations. The transit time should be 28 days.

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan establish JV

A week ago, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan agreed to establish a joint venture to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route. This was announced during the meeting between the Chair of the Board of Samruk Kazyna Wealth Fund Almassadam Satkaliev and Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan Mikayil Jabbarov on March 9 in Baku, reported by The Astana Times.

“The new joint venture will contribute to the tariff setting and cargo declaration, ensure unified IT solutions and consolidate transit cargo on this route. The Kazakh delegation noted the importance of reorienting export cargo flows from Kazakhstan to Europe along the Trans-Caspian route. The parties also noted a potential for cooperation in the field of oil transportation through Azerbaijan, which could become an alternative route,” reads the release.

Satkaliev also discussed fostering cooperation in transportation with the Minister of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan Rashad Nabiyev during his visit.

Nabiyev noted that transport links between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are developing on the basis of positive trends, reported the minister’s press office. The unification of tariffs along the corridor, simplification and the harmonization of regulatory and customs procedures for transit cargo are important.

The officials noted that due to the recent events in the region and the geopolitical situation, demand will exceed supply, and this will affect the consumer directly. The cost of delivery and the waiting period will increase. In connection to these factors, a new framework for cooperation and the establishment of transit and transport communications is necessary.

The geographical features of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and their location between the largest economic centers of Europe and Asia create conditions for an efficient and well-established transport network between the countries. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line will give an additional impetus to the route development. This will reduce the delivery time from China to Turkey through Kazakhstan to 12 days.

The expected forecast volumes of cargo transportation along the Trans-Caspian route, the capacity of the Caspian Sea railways, the conditions for the reorientation of additional cargo flows, and the creation of the so-called Middle Corridor were on the agenda during the meeting.