Oleg Belozerov, the CEO of Russian Railways and Javid Gurbanov, the head of Azerbaijan Railways signed a cooperation agreement to implement a coordinated policy for the development and operation of Eurasian international transport corridors, including the expansion of foreign economic relations, ensuring optimal transport conditions for transit and export-import traffic.
Under the memorandum, the parties will develop a comprehensive cooperation in the railway sector, including the transport and transit potential of the national rail operators, in particular, to implement joint activities that will contribute to the growth of freight traffic along the Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia-Europe route and Russia – Azerbaijan – Turkey route, using Baku – Tbilisi – Kars. The construction of Rasht-Astara line in Iran would allow to reach an average regular traffic volume of 100 TEUs per year.
The two companies have also agreed to jointly attract additional container traffic on the western route of the North-South corridor and other routes which involve Russia and Azerbaijan.
Improving the quality of services, ensuring effective use of rolling stock and providing competitive tariff rates are also included within the agreement. To improve the efficiency of commercial and technological procedures, a single information system will be developed on the basis of the introduction of modern technologies, electronic document management, and tracking of cargo movement. Currently, 87% of the freight traffic between Russia and Azerbaijan is issued in electronic form.
RZD and ADY will develop the infrastructure at the Samur-Yalama border crossing to increase its capacity, taking into account future traffic volumes along the North-South transport corridor and other routes. The companies intend to create a regular container service from China to Baku with the organization of a distribution hub in Azerbaijan.
In the first quarter of 2019, the volume of freight traffic between the two companies increased by 25%.