Kaliningrad railway. Photo: Dave Collier

Test shipments on New Silk Road via Kaliningrad start next month

Kaliningrad railway. Photo: Dave Collier

Test shipments on the New Silk Road via Kaliningrad are scheduled for the end of summer 2018, now that RZD Logistics has signed partnership deals for all stages of the transportation process – in China, in Europe and in North-West Russia. The service is to connect China and Germany, bypassing the congested Polish-Belarusian border crossing Malaszewicse-Brest.

JSC RZD Logistics, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, last week agreed with the Service Center for Land Bridge Block-Train Programmes of China’s Communications and Transportation Association (CCTA) on the joint promotion of intermodal service of container delivery across the route. This promotion will take place in the months of July and August, RZD Logistics said.


A partnership with German DB Cargo AG was signed last month, while another deal was concluded with MSCC Bronka for transportation through North-West Russia. “During the first stage of cooperation the parties will evaluate the possibility of speedy delivery of container cargo across the route China – Mongolia – Port Baltiysk – Port Rostock – and terminals of Germany”, RZD Logistics explained.

RZD Logistics will be responsible for the formation of container trains from the border with China, the ports of Leningrad (Port Bronka) and Kaliningrad region. CCTA will promote intermodal service in China. DB Cargo AG is devoted to the delivery of cargo from China across the ports of Kaliningrad region to the terminals of Europe and in reverse direction, first deputy CEO Andrey Tonkikh noted.

Kaliningrad route

Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. Via the Kaliningrad route, freight trains make a 9,559 kilometre journey through Lithuania to continue on the Trans-Siberian railway through Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan. As it will avoid the busy border crossing Malaszewicze-Brest, and pass fewer border crossings, the route is expected to facilitate faster delivery of cargo on the New Silk Road.

RZD estimates a potential cargo flow of not less than 100,000 TEU per year. “The new service will open one more entry point into Europe for transit cargo from China. The further increase of transit volume is just impossible without alternative multimodal routes; the capacity of the Brest-Małaszewicze border crossing is simply not enough for the big volumes of cargo on this corridor”, RZD Logistics said.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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