Finnish train to China. Photo: Kouvola Innovation

Finland to develop the new freight route to Kazakhstan

Finland and Kazakhstan are considering to launch a new rail freight connection between the countries. They regard the route as an opportunity for transporting products to and from other countries, especially Iran, Sweden and Norway.

Finland and Kazakhstan have recently deepened cooperation in rail freight transportation. On 16 October  an agreement was signed by Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), KTZ Express and Unytrade Oy on one side and Kouvola Innovation Oy and Kouvola Cargo Handling Oy on the other side to promote rail freight transportation between Kazakhstan and the Nordic countries. One of the aims is to develop a new 3,800-km rail freight connection between Finland and Kazakhstan.

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Finland-China train route. Photo: Kouvola Innovation

The terms for launching the train service have not been defined yet. However, Finland and Kazakhstan consider that the new connection will attract additional cargo to or from other countries like Iran as well as Sweden and Norway. The parties are also looking at enhanced cooperation on the existing container train service between Kouvola and Xi’an. The most feasible option is to expand this route to Haparanda (Sweden) and to the port of Narvik (Norway).

Timber train to China

Kazakh and Finnish companies have a successfully worked together in freight transportation. On November 2017, they launched the first container service between Finland and China. The first train departed from Tehola intermodal terminal in Kouvola and reached Xi’an in fourteen days.

Today, the train runs regularly once per week in every direction. The most common types of cargo carried on this line are timber, as well as products of the engineering industry, working clothes and ship equipment. The Kouvola – Xi’an train consists of 41 40-feet containers. The launch of this service was made possible due to Chinese subsidies.

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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