Europe and China make a significant contribution to the growth of container transportation in Russia

30 january 2018 | Gudok

In 2017, container transportation by the Russian railways increased by 18.9% up to 3.9 mln of containers in twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) "According to the experts, the main factors of current growth are favorable economic situation and the decisions of Russian Railways OJSC", Gudok newspaper writes.

Dmitry Chernenok
Dmitry Chernenok
Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting

Dmitry Chernenok, expert of the Analytical Center, paid attention to the record increase of transit and noted a significant growth of trade between the European countries and China. "It is worth mentioning that at year-end 2017 the overland route from China to Europe achieved benchmarks of effectiveness if compared to sea transportation: both in terms of delivery time and costs", the expert said to the correspondent of Gudok newspaper.

According to the analyst, the tariff for the transit transportation of containers through Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan is harmonized, which makes it more predictable. At the same time it is almost not changed throughout a year, while the same cannot be said of sea container transportation. "The value of SCFI freight index in early 2017 for the directions Shanghai-Northern Europe exceeded USD 1,100 for a twenty-foot container, which exceeded the overland index by 10-15%. Even despite a significant reduction of the cost of sea transportation by the second decade of November 2017 (down to USD 690 for a twenty-foot container), the volumes of railway transportation in November-December did not show negative growth indicators in relation to the same period of 2016", Chernenok said.

The expert noted that in the structure of domestic and export transportation the goods with low processing level (semi-finished products) still prevail, which generally correlates with the previous trends when the main growth of container transportation was based on the volumes of transportation of forest cargoes, chemicals and chemical products, paper, metalware, etc. The strengthening of the Russian currency and the growth of international prices for the above mentioned products allowed to increase the export volume.

The deficit of rolling stock in the Russian Railways network also contributed to the growth of container transportation: a part of consigners, mainly agricultural and steel companies switched to container transportation. In the specialist's opinion, this is of exceptional character.

At the background of the above-mentioned factors of container transportation growth, the impact of the experiment of the Transport Service Center on cancellation of submission and approval of application for freight transportation under GU-12 form by a consignor became to be perceived as a fact of life, the expert thinks. "Surely, this allowed to reduce the volatility of approval of container transportation, but it is necessary to continue works on improvement of such transportation service, primarily in terms of non-tariff barriers: customs, phytosanitary and technological restrictions", Chernenok concluded.

Photo: from open sources