Vietnam freight train, source: Wikipedia

TransContainer looks to South-East Asia: an alternative to the sanctions?

In May, Russian intermodal container operator PJSC TransContainer launched a regular freight service from Hanoi to the Elektrougli station in Moscow via the Zabaikalsk border-crossing point.

The news comes a few months after Finland suspended rail freight traffic with Russia, in which TransContainer played a significant role. The company was collaborating with Finland through a joint venture, ContainerTrans Scandinavia (CTS).

The details

The rail journey between the two destinations takes around 35 days, reducing delivery times by 5-8 days compared to sea shipping. Moreover, the rail freight agreement between China, Russia, and Vietnam allows the shipment to be handled within a unified legal regime, as Nikita Pushkarev, Sales and Customer Service Director at TransContainer, pointed out.

Pushkarev claimed that TransContainer “plans to dispatch at least two block trains a month along this route”. More specifically, the service will involve the transportation of coffee, tea, and clothes from Vietnam to be sold in Russia.

The parties involved are planning to bring grain, timber, and chemicals from Russia to Vietnam. TransContainer can supply its equipment and organize transportation throughout Vietnam. In addition, the company is also able to provide cargo storage and loading services in Vietnam.

Not only TransContainer

TransContainer is not the first Russian firm to collaborate with Vietnam. Since 2018 Russian Railways (RZD) has collaborated with Vietnamese logistics operator Ratraco to open a rail corridor between the two countries through China.

With the outbreak of covid 19, Vietnam showed a growing interest in Russian-made products for children, namely baby formula and dry food. This led to a quadruplication of RZD shipments of these products to Vietnam.

The growth of the rail freight relationship between Russia and Vietnam is reflected by the increasing volumes of goods that are transported by RZD. In fact, the volumes of goods moved every month between the two countries have increased 4,5 times compared to 2021.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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