Russian train loaded with Maersk containers, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

More containers on transit through Russia despite pandemic

Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the global economy, Russia saw an increase in container transit volumes in 2020. In the first five months of this year, 278 thousand containers moved on transit through the country, 18 per cent more than in the same period of 2019. This is according to Russian Railways, the state-owned railway company of Russia.

In April-May, when Chinese factories returned to work, the increase was over 40 per cent, said Oleg Belozerov, general director and chairman of the board of Russian Railways on Friday. International partnership and digital technologies have brought more transit cargo to the railways during the pandemic, he noted.

Subsidised transit

In April this year Russian Railways reduced the rates for transiting empty 40- and 45-foot universal containers from third countries to China by up to 40 per cent. This measure, which is applicable until 31 August, was proposed in order to support the continuance of transit traffic between Europe and China.

According to Belozerov, this is an example of the good cooperation with the Russian Export Center, with which it orchestrated the plan. The Russian President supported this measure, the director general explained.

International cooperation

Russian Railways also pays great attention to cooperation with international organisations and business associations. In particular, within the framework of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association and the forum Trianon Dialogue, as well as the French-Russian chamber of Commerce, common legal field and technology for interaction of the railways in the Eurasian space are coordinated.

Together with our partners, we see a growing interest from entrepreneurs to joint projects in the field of transport. Recently, such hot issues as innovation and digital technologies have become particularly relevant. They become key factors in the competitiveness of companies and industries, especially in the current context, said Belozerov.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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