UTLC signs new deals to promote Europe-Asia rail routes
The United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC) transmodal alliance has joined DB Cargo and the German Port of Rostock in signing a trilateral agreement to develop rail freight between northern Europe and China. It’s just the latest in a series of UTLC-led initiatives promoting the benefits of rail for freight forwarders looking to move goods between west and east.
It lays the groundwork for the future development of a multinational project for arranging multimodal container transportation between the northern European countries of Sweden, Denmark and Finland, via the national railway operators of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, and the German and Swedish ports of Rostock and Trelleborgs respectively.
The deal was secured at Trans-Russia 2017, the Global Transport and Logistics Services and Technologies Show in Moscow, where UTLC has its headquarters. Its core aim is consolidating and developing existing and new overland rail freight routes connecting Europe and Asia, in particular facilitating services to and from China.
It has also signed a new agreement with the state-owned Lithuanian Railways (Lietuvosgelezinkelia) that will enable the transit of cargo from China via Lithuania, a deal also rubber-stamped at the Trans-Russia event. Mantas Bartushka, General Manager of Lietuvosgelezinkelia, said: “The agreement we reached will enable us to offer advantageous conditions of cargo transportation from China via Lithuania to Poland and other European countries to our customers.”
He added that with pilot services due to launch in the summer, there were now ‘excellent opportunities’ for Lithuania to occupy a ‘significant place on the transport map of the future’. “In the future we hope for regular transportation of container trains,” added Bartushka.
UTLC wants to boost its rail freight transportation numbers ten-fold over the next few years, with the aim of reaching one million TEUs by 2025. Asia-Europe rail freight transportation across Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus more than doubled in 2016, exceeding 100,000 TEUs.
Speaking at the Trans-Russia event, Alexey Grom, CEO of UTLC, said: “Our operational objective is to reach the volume of one million TEUs in this corridor (by 2025), and the management will do its best to accelerate this event.” The company’s strategy, he added, could make this possible, although market trends could enable even more ambitious forecasts.
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