More than 200 trains are currently awaiting to pass through the China- Kazakhstan border checkpoints.
The increased burden stems from the Chinese administrative anti-COVID requirements and the high workload of railway hubs. “ The current situation will not affect the pricing policy for the existing UTLC ERA services on 1520 gauge”, confirmed Alexey Grom, CEO of UTLC ERA*, during a press conference: (UTLC ERA services operates only on 1520 gauge).
“We do not plan to increase our rates, at least for the next quarter. Maintaining the current stable pricing is one of the main competitive advantages of the railway for our customers. In addition, five more terminals on the border of Kazakhstan are to be constructed, which will allow not only stabilizing the situation, but also increasing the traffic capacity”.
In order to optimize the workload, in 2020 UTLC ERA agreed on the double freight operations technology at border terminals, which significantly contributed to increase in the traffic capacity at the border by 30% without investments in infrastructure. “We are also currently negotiating with the Chinese Railway and the Kazakhstan Railway to integrate similar technologies on the eastern border of the EU”, - added Grom.
We are optimistic for upcoming 2021 year. In 2020, we transported 60% more than previously predicted. We are focusing on developing new capabilities in our infrastructure to meet the growing customer demand for transport from China to Europe,” - said Grom. UTLC ERA estimates that next year the supply volumes will increase by 10-15%. “We are working on several new corridors, passing through new EU border crossings. The first one is to be tested before the end of this year. The second one will pass along the Kaliningrad direction and is scheduled for testing for the first quarter of 2021. We do not have specific requests for these corridors, but we want to have additional capacity reserves in case of an increase in supply volumes. Soon these projects will be announced,” - said Alexey Grom.
Recently, UTLC ERA announced that it has overcome the landmark of 500,000 TEU, thus increasing the total volume of freight traffic on the China-EU track by 60%. According to the State Committee for Development and Reforms of the People's Republic of China, the total volume of freight traffic of all operators along the specified track since the beginning of the year amounted to 927,000 TEU. To date, the traffic volume has covered 21 countries and 92 cities in Europe. UTLC ERA estimates that next year the volume of supplies will increase by at least 10-15%.