Russia reduces empty container rate by up to 40%

A container train runs in Russia, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

Russian Railways has reduced the rates for transiting empty 40- and 45-foot universal containers from third countries to China by up to 40 per cent. This was decided by the management board of the Russian railway company, chaired by General Director Oleg Belozerov. The reduced rate is effective per 1 April and applies until 31 August 2020.

When shipping empty containers through the Russian-Polish border crossings and Baltic port stations in Russia, the route Zheleznodorozhny/Mamonovo/Baltic port stations in Russia-Chernyshevskoye-Krasnoye-Kanisay will cost 272,08 Euros. The route Zheleznodorozhny/Mamonovo/Baltic port stations in Russia-Chernyshevskoye-Krasnoye-Kartaly will cost 337,26 Euros, Russian Railways explained. “This reduces tariffs by 40 per cent.”

Creating balance

“These rates apply when transporting containers on specialised platforms as part of container trains with a length of no less than 57 but no more than 82 conventional wagons”, the company specified. Depending on the dynamics of transportation later on, the special tariffs may be extended until the end of 2020.

These discounts are aimed at balancing container flows between the east and west. The transportation of loaded containers on the China-Europe-China route in March 2020 increased by 33.4 per cent to 28,500 TEUs, but the shipment of empty containers, mainly from Europe to China, decreased by almost 70 per cent to 1,000 TEUs.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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