Huge rise in 2017 freight for Eurasian alliance
Rail freight corridor alliance United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC) handled more than 2,000 container trains in 2017, a remarkable rise of 75 per cent on the previous year.
Aroiund 175,000 TEUs were transported along the route through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, based on preliminary figures announced by UTLC. National operators SC Russian Railways, the National Union Belarusian Railway and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy make up the UTLC, also known as the Eurasian Rail Alliance, which was set up in 2014.
The amount of regular routes in the UTLC services in 2017 reached 48 (up from just 19 at the start of 2016), with around 15 container trains being sent every day, making a total of 2,102 trains for the year. UTLC says advances in technology have paved the way for an increasing efficiency of infrastructure capacity and reduction in transport costs. The alliance’s ‘XL Train project saw 115 long trains, which pull some 100 wagons, operated.
Alexey Grom, President of UTLC, said: “Together with our stockholders, clients and partners, we can be satisfied with the results of the year. Among the most important results I would mark the growth of technological partnership and interaction of the participants of the transport process which enabled to make our service more accessible and competitive for clients and freight owners.
“The result we reached at the end of the year set a new record of the amount of transit trains in the infrastructure of the 1520mm track. The plans to reach the TEU volume of 1 million are left without changes. The results of 2017 let us make even more ambitious plans for the year 2018 and following years.”
In December the UTLC announced it had gained a new partner in Forwardis, the multimodal arm of France’s SNCF Logistics. The deal is seen as major step in UTLC’s efforts to consolidate and strengthen its rail freight links with western Europe.