United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) has established a “One million club” initiative which aims at transit container increase through Kazakhstan up to 1 million TEU a year in 2020–2024. The initiative was created by UTLC ERA together with partners and customers.
This will be made possible due to the digitalization and optimization of cargo transport on the 1520 mm railway gauge and the increase of freight traffic on China – Europe – China routes
The total amount of container transport on China – Europe – China routes reached approximately 102 thousand TEU in the first four months of 2019, about a 16% increase to the same period of the previous year. Out of this gross volume UTLC ERA shipments accounted for about 85 thousand TEU, a 45% increase y-o-y. This while the overall transit volume had decreased on competing railway corridors on the 1520 gauge.
As transit potential of Kazakhstan is essential for the set goal, UTLC ERA and Kazakhstan Railways are currently realizing a comprehensive plan to develop transit across the 1520 mm network due to the optimisation of dead mileage, transport planning and also the coordinated tariff policy of EAEU countries without cutting tariffs for transit across Kazakhstan, Alexey Grom, the president of UTLC ERA explained.
This year, the company plans to accelerate the average daily distance covered by the trains, from 1,020 km/day to up to 1,073 km/day. “It will mean for the customer that cargo will get from one part of Eurasia to another even quicker. Can you imagine it? 5,500 km in four and a half days – from the border with China to the border with the EU. We, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, have come to understand that more can be achieved when we work together,” – said Alexey Grom.
According to company data, median carriage load has decreased on all Eurasian transport corridors in 2018 with the notable exception of routes operated by UTLC ERA. At the end of 2018, the company managed to increase carriage load going from Europe to China on par with Chinese backhaul load. It was traditionally assumed that carriages going from Europe to China could be loaded no more than 50% of the return route. This was accomplished thanks to the successful work with European manufacturers, optimising business processes and expanding the types of exported goods to include less expensive bulk items (foodstuffs, cellulose, etc.).
Today the company works on 57 routes from China to Europe, with 4 destinations opened this year – Neumarkt, Barcelona, Bremerhaven, and Luxembourg.
In the first four months of 2019 the average transit time on the China – Europe – China route was reduced by 14% as compared to 2018 and took just over five days. In 2019 UTLC ERA and Kazakhstan Railways have already reduced the average transit time the China – Europe – China route by 29%, and now it takes cargo trains two and a half days instead of three to go across Kazakhstan.