GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR), GR Logistics & Terminals from Georgia and ASCO Logistic from Azerbaijan signed an agreement to establish a consortium that will operate regular shipping between the ports of Constanta and Batumi/ Poti.
“This agreement brings us closer to our stated goal of launching the first rail freight transport services between China and Western Europe that will transit Romania,” Gruia Stoica, the president of GRAMPET Group said at the signing ceremony.
Under the agreement, the consortium will operate a ship with a capacity of 144 TEU, which will carry shipments three times a month.
The agreement was signed to intensify the flow of goods along Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, which starts from Southeast Asia and China, runs through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further to European countries.
It is expected that the transit time between the Georgian ports and Constanta will be reduced to 2 days. According to Sorin Chinde, the Vice President of the GRAMPET Group’s Transport Division, “once a permanent and regular connection between the ports of Georgia and Romania is launched, we can reduce this transit time by 5 days forth/5 days back, so that the transit time between the Georgian ports and Constanta is reduced to 2 days.”
A major obstacle in attracting transport flows to Europe on the route between the two countries faces the lack of a direct naval connection between the ports of Georgia and Romania. The alternative routes to Europe, through Istanbul or Piraeus are are non-competitive, because they have a transit time from 12 to 24 days.
In September 2018, GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) joined the Middle Corridor Association, and until now, the company has “managed to activate the Batumi/ Poti – Constanta shipping route, which has a very important role for the freight transit from Asia to Europe, as it is basically the last piece missing from the Middle Corridor chain,” Gruia Stoica explained.
In June, GRAMPET Group, the largest private railway and logistics operator in Romania and South-East Europe and NMSC Kazmortransflot, the national sea carrier of Kazakhstan, signed an agreement to open a regular connection between the Constanta and Batumi Ports.