Azerbaijan Railways and ÖBB strive to develop Eurasian multimodal rail
A delegation of Azerbaijan Railways (ADY) met ÖBB’s Chairman and CEO Andreas Mattä on Tuesday, 10 May and signed an MoU to highlight the role of multimodal transport in strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
The discussions between the two parties focused on “increasing joint efforts to make more efficient use of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route” to develop China-Europe and Central Asia train services. The two sides stated that under the framework of the memorandum of cooperation, they will spare no effort to ensure the uninterrupted and efficient transportation of the line, especially the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK) and the Black Sea leg.
ADY’s delegates also met with representatives of Rail Cargo Group, METRANS and Bahnoperator, all active participants in the Middle Corridor. “These companies are operating in Central and Southern Europe. As a result, they could help create a new hub in the region to maintain the cargo volume on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route”, mentioned ADY Container, the freight subsidiary of Azerbaijan Railways, in a LinkedIn post.
Multimodal links and capacity prioritised
“The parties involved in the memorandum of understanding will work together to ensure the uninterrupted and fast delivery of multimodal rail freight from Europe via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and cargo from the Romanian port of Constanta to the Georgian port of Poti, following the route to Central Asia and China”, said ADY Container. Understandably, the partners aim to develop and boost eastbound traffic from Central-Southern Europe. This will take place both via rail exclusively (BTK Line through Turkey) and by using the Black Sea leg.
“In this context, ADY Container LLC, together with Georgian company GR Logistics & Terminals and KTZ Express, with the support of ASCO (Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company), is launching containerised cargo transportation via feeder vessels between the ports of Poti and Constanta on the. The vessel “Shair Vagif” will sail between the mentioned ports three times a month at a ten-day interval. Two block trains at a time will be transported by the vessel on each journey”, highlighted ADY Container.
With volumes via the Middle Corridor and the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route exploding lately, this is a very positive development. The region’s transport stakeholders gradually realise that good coordination and joint plan implementation in different corridor parts are crucial to keeping the service quality high. The involvement of European companies and their cooperation with countries along the corridor is also vital since the European perspective, know-how, and market knowledge can prove very constructive.