Kazakhstan directs cargo transportation via Russia to Middle Corridor

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The export of Kazakh products through the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR, Middle Corridor) has increased 6.5 times in 10 months, said the Ministry of Trade and Integration, Report informs.

“In addition to metals, the majority of petroleum products have been transported along this route,” the ministry noted.

The ministry emphasized that Kazakhstan has reduced its metal exports through Russia and started supplying more metals through TITR.

According to the information received by the institution from Kazakhstan Railway, during the ten months of 2022, export through Russia increased by 7%. The share of cargo transportation via this country makes up 25% in the overall structure of the supply of Kazakhstani products.

At the same time, the country carries less ferrous and non-ferrous metals, chemical preparations, soda, chemical, and mineral fertilizers through Russia:

“Ferrous and non-ferrous metals were directed to the TITR route, as well as to China, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. But the transportation of chemical preparations and soda, as well as chemical and mineral fertilizers in the direction of Ukraine, has been stopped. There was no change of direction in this regard.”

Regarding imports, the information of the Ministry of Trade and Integration emphasized that the supply through Russia remained at the same level, even though fewer construction materials, grain, and sugar products were transported to Kazakhstan.

The ministry explained this with the supply of building materials from Uzbekistan, grain from Russia, and sugar products from Latvia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

Import through TITR increased by 91%. The biggest growth was recorded in chemicals and soda, ferrous metals, juices, and beverages.

TITR was created in February 2014 with the participation of the relevant structures of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia. Subsequently, Ukraine, Romania and Poland joined the project.

Currently, the route runs from the Chinese-Kazakh border through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia to Europe. A single tariff has been set for the entire route, the principle of a “single window” is being implemented, and container trains are running successfully.

In December 2020, container trains began to be sent in transit through Azerbaijan along the TITR route from Turkiye to China (Xi’an city). In a short time, this route has become in high demand among shippers, as it meets the requirements for the speed and cost of cargo delivery in comparison with alternative routes.

Trains have time to arrive at their destination in just 16 days, and according to the agreements, they will run regularly twice a month. These agreements have been well respected, even despite the increase in prices since the beginning of 2021 for container transportation in China.

The pandemic and related difficulties in trade relations, a sharp increase in exports of Chinese goods to the US, Europe, Russia and other countries against the backdrop of a reduction in the delivery of goods in the opposite direction, an increase in the cost of container ship services – all these factors influenced the fact that the cost of maritime container freight also rose.