New rail freight service links Italy with China

A new rail freight service will be developed connecting Italy and China via the Baku – Tbilisi – Kars line. This was agreed by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FSI), Mercitalia Intermodal (FS Italian Group) and Azerbaijan Railways during a state visit of the Italian president in Baku.

The route connects a yet to defined Italian destination with the Turkish port of Mersin. In Turkey, the cargo travels further by train. With the Baku – Tbilisi – Kars line it passes through Georgia and Azerbaijan to enter Iran, from where it is forwarded to China, explained FSI.

Service providers

Mercitalia Intermodal, the intermodal combined transport operator of Mercitalia Polo (FS Italian Group) will manage the railway service from Italy to the Turkish port of Mersin. Azerbaijan Railways will provide transport and logistic services on the route between Turkey to China.

The Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway (BTK) is a vital line linking Turkey and Central Asia. The first train departed  Baku in westward direction on the 30th of October. An annual volume of 6.5 million tonnes of cargo is expected to be transported along the route, with the aim to increase to 17 million tonnes of cargo per year.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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