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Easy calculation

The ERAI Rail Transit Index has become a decision guide for foreign exporters and carriers
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In 2021 UTLC ERA, JSC improved its Eurasian Rail Alliance Index, which shows the indicative cost of freight transportation between China and Europe. Now its value is updated weekly, which gives users the opportunity to see and compare the current cost of goods delivery. In 2022 UTLC ERA JSC will continue perfecting the ERAI index and promote it on the Asian and European transport markets.

Pricing guide

The Eurasian Rail Alliance Index (ERAI) is a tool for informing market participants about the cost of trans-Eurasian container rail transportation in both directions between China and Europe. The ERAI price index was first presented by UTLC ERA, JSC in 2018 at a logistics and transport exhibition in China.

When calculating the index, UTLC ERA, JSC takes into account many factors, such as tariffs for rail transportation in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, the cost of using fitting platforms, the cost of terminal services, travel time, and infrastructure congestion.

According to Artemiy Ivanov, head of the marketing research division of UTLC ERA, JSC, the only indicators used in the past to calculate the cost of transporting goods in containers from South-East Asia to Europe and backward were sea container transport indices – the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index and the World Container Index (SCFI and WCI, respectively). 

"It was the maritime indices that served as the impetus for the creation of ERAI, a similar tool for the promotion and popularization of rail transit," adds the expert.

Starting from the last year, the index data are updated on a weekly basis, rather than monthly as before.  Today the index is widely represented on international transport platforms and beyond them - in the Union of Railwaymen in France, the European Parliament, and a UN committee. The index data are included in the reviews of the international analytical agency Drewry.

Yuri Shurygin, General Director of the International Export Promotion Agency (IEXPA), believes that the ERAI Railway Transit Index can be of interest primarily to professional logistics operators, as well as large exporting companies, both in Russia and abroad. 

This opinion is shared by Pavel Lagov, director for railway product development in the CIS countries of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. "In addition to Russian companies, the ERAI index is also useful for international logistics companies that offer their clients various transportation options between Asia and Europe," the expert believes.

The ability to compare ERAI and WCI Drewry allows cargo owners to quickly understand the prices for transportation by sea and by rail and choose the best method of delivery.

"Thus, at the end of 2020, the marine index was higher than the ERAI for the first time. And in 2021, the WCI Drewry exceeded its own 2020 value by several hundred percent," specifies Pavel Lagov. "This leap in WCI reflects a situation of explosive growth of sea freight rates, which emerged due to the dramatically increased demand for goods after the loosening or removal of lockdowns and gradual opening of borders, the lack of capacity of sea carriers, as well as the acute shortage of containers in Asia".

At the end of January, the WCI Drewry value was 3.3 times higher than the ERAI index, while the time of overland transit remained 3-4 times shorter.

Portal for the index 

In 2021, the information-analytical portal, created on the basis of the Eurasian Rail Alliance Index, also underwent a number of changes. Initially, it was conceived as a platform that enables the analysis of the development of transit transportation in terms of the range of goods transported, the time in transportation, and the capacity of the infrastructure in the "1520 field".

Today, the unified information and analytical resource Eurasian Rail Alliance Index is a tool that allows businesses to quickly and accurately forecast all aspects related to the transportation of goods in the "1520 field".

In 2022, UTLC ERA, JSC plans to continue improving and enhancing the index portal, as well as expanding its audience (by the end of 2021, the number of users had doubled).

"Significant efforts will be made to promote the portal to all target markets - as a kind of showcase for all transit container transportations in the "1520 field", sums up the head of the marketing research division of UTLC ERA, JSC.

Anastasia Baranets 

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