Mamuka Bakhtadze on Chinese Transit Train Arrival

Georgian Railway Director General, Mamuka Bakhtadze, has appraised the arrival of the Chinese transit train to Georgia as a historical fact.

“This is an important and historical event. We have worked on the project implementation for two years along with completing many technological and logistics projects. We have successfully finished all these projects.

We have transported cargo through the Silk Road corridor for the first time. The starting point is in South Korea and the corridor crosses China, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia and ends in Istanbul, Turkey,” Bakhtadze noted.

DHL and Vestel companies were among the clients of the transit train from China. “This fact signifies that the world’s major companies are interested in our corridor,” Bakhtadze said, adding: “Our route’s efficiency is four times stronger than the traditional seaborne route and ensures considerable insurance for the cargo owners.”

As reported in last week’s Georgia Today/Business, the first transit train (with 21 containers) set off from the Chinese seaport terminal of Lianyungang on November 29 and arrived in Georgia on December 13. The train reached its final destination three days later. The cargo transportation was carried out as part of the NOMAD Express project.

It was the first transit cargo train and a clear implementation of the Silk Road project. In the future, the transit train will connect Asia with Europe in the shortest period, with cargo from Chinas’ far eastern Lianyungang seaport reaching Istanbul in 14-15 days. Seaborne transport takes 40-45 days.

In 2013 on the initiative of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan railway companies, a tariff committee was established with the aim of enhancing the TransCaspian corridor’s competitive capacity.

Later, Aktau, Baku and Batumi seaports joined the new logistics project ‘TransCaspian International Transport Route.’ Transparent tariffs were set on various consignments as part of this union and this has considerably decreased and simplified the transportation in the Corridor.

In 2015 the participant countries established a consortium that united Mishgeng Logistics transportation company (China),(Kazakhstan), Caspar Caspian Sea Maritime Company and Karavan Logistics (Azerbaijan), and TransCaucasus Terminal (Georgia). Turkey joined the consortium as an associated member.

“It is worth noting that at the end of 2015 another transit train will arrive in Georgia, while several thousand containers will be transported as part of the project starting 2016. Georgia’s transit potential will double,” Bakhtadze said.

Katie Ruth Davies

21 December 2015 21:24