New transportation opportunities for Trans-Caspian Route: Nomad express container train welcomed in Baku10 august 2015, 15:04
On August 3, Baku welcomed the Nomad express container train traveling from Shihezi, China to Georgia via Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Tengrinews reports.
President of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) Askar Mamin and Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways Dzhavid Gurbanov were among the participants of the welcoming ceremony in Baku.
The container train had covered the 3500 km across Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea in 5 days. From Dostyk station at Kazakhstan's border with China, the train traveled to the Aktau sea port to be transhipped via the Caspian sea to the Alyat port in Azerbaijan. From there, the container train arrived to its final destination in Kishly near Baku.
The new train route was opened as a part of the Nurly Zhol economic program and New Silk Road program.
During his official speech at the ceremony in Baku, Mamin stressed the importance of the Trans-Caspian route for Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan as a transit bridge between Asia and Europe. According to Mamin, "putting Kars-Akhalkalaki railway, the important part of trans-Caspian route into operation will bring a tremendous impulse to the development of freight traffic".
In turn, Gurbanov also noted the importance of the new route and thanked Kazakhstan for active participation in the international project.
The area's transit potential is huge, and Kazakhstan is working hard on increasing the transit flows to the Caucasus, Turkey and Europe.
"Considering the expected commodity turnover between the countries in the region, the potential of container shipping of the Trans-Caspian route is estimated at 300 thousand TEU by 2020," Mamin said.
This potential, according to Mamin, can be realized only through a consorted effort of all the participants of the transport chain - China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, including railway operators, Caspian ports, shipping companies and terminals providing transportation solutions and competitive pricing policies along the route.
The route contributes to the development of Kazakhstan's export and transit potentials and increases competitiveness of the Trans-Caspian International Transportation Route.
To attract transit freights and foreign freighters, the route has a single railway tariff and uses uniform traffic engineering technologies.
In the future, the route will be extended to Turkey and Europe.
Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina