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From Korla to Kaliningrad

Russian producers are now linked with northwest China
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TransContainer PJSC has completed a test shipment of a container train from China to Kaliningrad via Kazakhstan. The new service is focused on the delivery of chemicals needed by Kaliningrad manufacturers. The service organizers say that several more container trains carrying Chinese chemicals will be sent via the new route in the nearest future.

As Vladimir Khlotkov, TransContainer's Director for Business Development in the Asia-Pacific Region told Gudok, the first train with 96 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent of a container), departed from the Korla station on July 31. 

"At the Alashankou (China)-Dostyk (Kazakhstan) border crossing, containers were reloaded onto 1520 gauge rolling stock and then sent to Russia via the Semiglavy Mar (Kazakhstan)-Ozinki (Russia) border crossing. After that the train went through three more checkpoints: Zlynka-Zakopytie (Russia-Belarus), Gudogai-Kena (Belarus-Lithuania) and Kybartai-Chernyshevskoe (Lithuania-Russia)," specified Vladimir Khlutkov.

The route of the train was completed at Kaliningrad Sortirovochny station on August 19. Delivery time of the freight on 1520 gauge was eight days. 

The new service is focused on the transportation of non-hazardous chemicals needed by Kaliningrad producers of polyethylene terephthalate (thermoplastic polyester, the most common material for production of plastic bottles, vials, jars and other containers - Ed.). 

Vladimir Khlutkov says: "Previously, the chemicals needed for PET production were supplied only from a plant in eastern China. Now it's possible to bring non-hazardous chemicals from another plant in Korla. That was the reason for setting up the new service".

According to Igor Smirnov, Director for Cargo Transportation and Logistics of the Center for Infrastructure Economics, more and more services for cargo delivery between Russia and China, through the territory of Kazakhstan, have recently appeared.

For example, since the beginning of the year, Russian operators have offered several new delivery services in this direction. At the beginning of June 2022 FESCO Transportation Group opened a new cargo delivery service from China's Chengdu to the Kaliningrad region via Kazakhstan. In August FESCO organized the first container shipment from China to Ufa, having used Kazakhstan border crossing point. 

According to Igor Smirnov, this phenomenon can be explained by several factors. Among them is the growing demand for Chinese products on the Russian market and vice versa.

"In addition, the corridor through Kazakhstan is a good alternative to routes through the Far East and allows bypassing bottlenecks in the railway infrastructure and ensuring the delivery of all the declared volumes in this direction," the expert summarized. 

Anastasia Baranets

31 august 2022

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