Azerbaijan sees more containers passing through in all directions

Source: Azerbaijan RailwaysAzerbaijan Railways

Azerbaijan is witnessing a major uptake in overland cargo transportation this year. This is true for cargo moving between east and west, as well as north and south. This was revealed by prime minister Ali Asadov during the 2nd Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow on 6 October.

Azerbaijan is located on the Middle Corridor and on the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), both of which have gained importance since the start of the war in Ukraine in March. The country is strategically located on the Caspian Sea, and the port of Baku is playing a leading role in the growth of freight traffic.

The figures

Specifically, Asadov mentioned that transit cargo transportation through Azerbaijan along the east-west corridor increased by 20 per cent, and along the north-south route by 33 per cent in the first eight months of 2022, as he was quoted in AzerNews.

In total, the country witnessed a surge of trade turnover with countries of the Caspian region by more than 45 per cent in the period of January-August 2022.

The corridors of Azerbaijan

The Middle Corridor is the corridor running from China to Europe via Turkey. Although there are a variety of possible routes, an important section is the Baku-Tblisi-Kars line, which was launched in October 2017. The 826-kilometre project included the modernisation of the existing infrastructure in Azerbaijan and Georgia. This has made the transit much more efficient.

On the north-south corridor, traffic between Russia and Iran has provided a boost of volumes. Also here, there are several routes, but the route through Azerbaijan to Iran is how the corridor was envisioned. The corridor is used to ship Russian goods to the southern port of Iran, where it shipped to India, and vice versa.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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