Russia needs to develop transit potential

23 march 2015

"The main priority for the Russian Federation is the international transport corridor towards the north-west of China, through Kazakhstan, Russia, and to the territory of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, Scandinavia," said Mikhail Nizov, the Head of the Directorate for Transport Economics of the Analytical Center, speaking at the Forum of business leaders of the CIS countries.

At the beginning of his report, Mr. Nizov talked about the development of international transport corridors within the CIS and the Eurasian Economic Union. According to him, the most rapidly developing country is the Republic of Belarus, where the transit road with paid travel was built with the use of foreign loans, the share of transit traffic exceeds 25% of the turnover of foreign trade. Russia gives Belarus on this indicator more than 5 times. The development of international transport corridors in Kazakhstan is a national project and is being promoted intensively with the foreign investment. "To prevent Russia become an impediment to the development of international transit in the CIS, as well as taking into account the vast territory, it is necessary to concentrate the governmental and the attracted investment at the most priority directions of international transport corridors", said the expert.

If look at the most extensive areas from the Far East to Europe, there are limited transport opportunities, because the Trans-Siberian Railway is already overloaded. The critical factor of roads of this route is the lack of durability of the pavement. Their reconstruction requires investment, but the recoupment is not obvious for potential investors, as travelling at transit highways in Russia is free. Potential investors in the development of rail infrastructure also have many unresolved issues with the JSC Russian Railways.

According to Mr. Nizov, the range and volume of goods, that can be transferred from the sea to the road transport, becomes an important issue for successful implementation of projects of international transport corridors and their impact. The determining criteria are:

• sensitivity of cargo to effects of marine environment, for example, loads of precision engineering, electronics;

• expensive cargos, for which shortening of delivery and payment are more important compared to a slight increase in the cost of delivery;

• cargos with a lower specific gravity, allowing their carriage in accordance with the requirements of the road infrastructure, related to the weight and axial loads;

• compliance with terms of the security of transportation and information support.