Locomotives in Belarus. Photo: Artem Svetlov

New tool to show cost of rail freight on New Silk Road

United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) together with consulting company INFRAONE developed a tool which shows the indicative value of railway transit services on the New Silk Road.

TheEurasian Rail Alliance Index (ERAI) is presented at the international transport and logistics forum PRO//Motion.1520, taking place from 1-3 October in the Russian city of Sochi. “Information on the cost of container cargo shipping in the Asia-Europe-Asia deliveries and comparative analysis for different time periods are data that cargo consignors need to consider for the optimal method of delivery. The ERAI index will include this information”, said Alexey Grom, President of UTLC ERA.

Cost of container transport

ERAI indicates the cost of transit container transport on the Eurasian railway corridor through the territory of the EEU, or the 1520 mm track gauge network. The index value depends on a variety of factors, among which the tariffs levied by Russian Railways, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and Belarusian Railways, the cost of fitting platforms usage, the cost of terminal services, the speed and travel time, the infrastructure congestion, etc. UTLC ERA will also launch subindexes, which reflect the indicative cost of container transport in the directions west-east (ERAI U EAST) and east-west (ERAI U WEST).

“Our task is to increase the volume of rail transit traffic. In order to do so, we need, among other things, to make the price indicator for the service accessible, understandable and transparent for cargo owners and transport companies. The new index is designed to convey very important information to customers: rail transit is competitive not only in terms of delivery speed, but also in terms of the price of transportation”, Grom said.

Fast-growing sector

“Today, it can be stated openly that container transit is the youngest and fastest growing segment of the rail transportation market. The volume of transit traffic in 2017 was 60 per cent higher than in 2016 and amounted to more than 413 thousand TEU. In 2018, we expect to reach the important milestone of half a million containers.

“But the potential of the market remains colossal. More than 23 million TEU per year are delivered to Europe from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and in the opposite direction by sea. Up to 10 per cent of this volume could be delivered by Eurasian railway”, the UTLC chief added.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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