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Reliance on the network

Russian Railways plans to modernize its terminal infrastructure
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Russian Railways has prepared proposals to update the General Development Scheme for the Network of Transport and Logistics Centers (TLC) in Russia. The network of the so-called satellite TLCs will be expanded. The holding company explains these proposals by its desire to meet the needs of the maximum number of consumers under the current economic conditions. We talk with Alexei Belsky, the head of the Russian Railways' Central Directorate for the Management of the Terminal and Warehouse Complex, about the development of the TLC network and the plans to create "dry ports".

- The Ministry of Transport of Russia plans to update the previously formulated General Scheme for the Development of the TLC Network. What proposals has Russian Railways prepared?

- Today the departmental project "Creation of a Network of Transport and Logistics Centers" is at the stage of approval. In our opinion, the approach to the formation of the TLC network should be updated, taking into account current changes in logistics and the needs of the state, including the redistribution of the main volume of freight traffic towards the Asia-Pacific region.

Russian Railways proposes to update the General Scheme taking into account several factors. First, the focus of freight traffic on Oriental markets, which requires increasing the capacity of freight checkpoints on the Russian-Chinese border. Second, the need to ensure domestic transportation of all types of cargo is taken into account. It is necessary to provide for the development of universal TLCs mainly for domestic transportation of heavy-weight, unitized, bulk and other national goods, focusing on the needs of businesses and the administration of a particular region.

Third, it is necessary to take into account the need to provide support to country-wide federal infrastructure development projects. The Central Directorate has experience in organizing transportation support for the federal construction project of the Moscow-Kazan highway and other projects, for which the appropriate infrastructure was promptly created and specialized equipment was purchased.

It is necessary to ensure the transport accessibility of small and medium-sized businesses by creating, on the basis of Russian Railways' cargo terminal infrastructure, a network of freight terminals (satellites) that are not part of TLCs, but work with TLCs using a single technology. In fact, they will play the role of a remote warehouse for dealing with a wide range of goods, and small and medium-tonnage cargo transportation.

In addition, we proposed to include in the list of first phase TLCs the transshipment complexes located in the Eastern polygon, as well as the universal cargo terminals of Russian Railways located in large industrial centers, to meet the needs of small and medium businesses.

These proposals for the inclusion of TLCs are driven by customer needs and the cargo supply chain technology.

Also, in our opinion, it is necessary to expand the list of satellites working with TLCs on a single technology and servicing small businesses.

- Why do you propose this particular approach?

- In the current economic situation, it will make it possible to meet the needs of the state in the domestic transportation, focused on import substitution.

- Now there are 156 container terminals on the balance sheet of Russian Railways. Are you going to open new terminals?

- No, not new ones. We will reconstruct and modernize the terminals we already have. At present we are finishing the construction of a new platform at St. Petersburg-Finlandsky Freight Yard, which will allow sending and receiving additional container trains. The degree of readiness there is high, and the work will be completed in April 2022.

- Talking about the prospects for the development of port infrastructure. Is Russian Railways considering options for creating "dry ports"?

We are considering the possibility of creating off-dock terminals to deal with storage, customs clearance, accumulation of shiploads, and distribution of cargo. With this technology seaports perform exclusively the functions of the loading and unloading of sea vessels.

The cargo yards located at Temryuk, Rostov-Tovarny, Rostov-Zapadny, Azov, Taganrog and Martsevo, Anapa, Krymskaya (North Caucasus Railway) and the cargo yards located at Kutum (Privolzhskaya Railway) and Pervaya Rechka, Nakhodka and Artem-Primorsky (Far Eastern Railway) are proposed as railway dry ports on the approaches to seaports.

The involvement of railway ports makes it possible to increase the processing capacity of seaports, raise the efficiency of the transportation process, and reduce transportation costs and investment burden in the formation of port infrastructure.

Regional directorates are ready to offer their customers not only standard loading and unloading services, but also to undertake transshipment of grain cargo into big-bags and specialized containers.

Interviewed by Maria Abdrimova

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