PSA and Kazakhstan Railways come together to boost Middle Corridor
PSA International and Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) are establishing a new joint venture, called KPMC to further develop the Middle Corridor. The focus of the joint venture, as PSA explained, will be “the organisation of block trains and provision of station to-station products and services” along the routes.
The agreement was signed on 22 May at the Kazakhstan-Singapore Business Forum in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. According to the parties involved, PSA will be able to expand its rail freight offer, while KTZ can “tap into new markets” thanks to PSA’s strong port connections.
The Middle Corridor is growing
This is not the only effort put forth by Kazakhstan to try and boost the Middle Corridor. A little over a month ago, KTZ started a collaboration with BRI Shangdon Port, in China, to develop multimodal transport and electronic services on the New Silk Road. Moreover, last year, Kazakhstan announced a joint venture with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey that is supposed to be launched in mid-2023. It is still unclear whether all these projects will help boosting traffic along the Middle Corridor.
However, it needs to be noted that KTZ is already experiencing significant growth in terms of volumes moved along these routes. As the company mentioned, rail transportation along the Middle Corridor between January and March 2023 grew by 63,7 per cent compared to the same period last year. The data provided by KTZ for the first three months of 2023 show continuity with the trends set in 2022. In February, the company already stated that the volumes of cargo transported along the Middle Corridor last year rose by 250 per cent compared to 2021.
Moreover, Increases in traffic along the Middle Corridor were also experienced by Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan deployed its first convoy along these routes at the end of 2022. On the other hand, the Middle Corridor is still struggling to gain popularity in Europe due to issues related to capacity. The route cannot handle significant volumes, and that is what companies in the Old Continent are looking for.