Aktau, Kazakhstan (PortSEurope) November 7, 2021 – Reorientation of cargo from sea transport to railways was the focus of the visit of a PSA International delegation (led by PSA vice-president Li Pang Gi) to railway stations Altynkol and Dostyk in Kazakhstan, the special economic zone (SEZ) and dry port Khorgos-Eastern Gate as well as the Caspian port of Aktau and the Kuryk ferry complex. PSA
International handles about a fifth of the global container traffic. The huge delays in container shipments and increased prices – both due to the congestion in major ports around the world, shortage of containers and vessels, and high demand – make the more expensive railway transport look increasingly as an acceptable alternative to sea transport. PSA has repeatedly announced its intention to expand the terminal network along the China-EU overland route and to develop infrastructure along the China-Kazakhstan-Russia-Belarus-Europe routes. The utilisation of Kazakh railways network would also allow PSA cargo to bypass Russia on the way to Europe. Already in 2018 the first container train transported cargo between Altynkol station on the Kazakhstan border on the route from Lodz (Poland) to Chandu (China). It was processed at the dry port of SEZ Khorgos-Eastern Gate. PSA Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of PSA International Pte Ltd, operates the world’s largest container transhipment hub in Singapore. PSA handled 86.6 million TEUs for the year ended 31 December 2020, a 1.7% increase compared to 2019. PSA Singapore contributed 36.6 million TEUs, a decline of 0.9%. PSA terminals outside Singapore delivered 50 million TEUs, an increase of 3.7%. PSA Group revenue increased by 2.5% on higher throughput and business acquisitions during the year. Profit from operations was lower by 4.2%, and overall net profit for the year decreased by 6.2% from previous year due to lower other income and increase in other operating expenses. PSA International is a global group of ports and terminals. It has over 50 branches in 26 countries. In September, at the meeting of Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) in Baku the Chairman of the Management Board of Kazakhstan Railways, Nurlan Sauranbayev was elected Chairman of the Managing Board of TITR. The General Meeting signed the Agreement on the organization of container service with the usage of feeder vessels between the Caspian ports of Aktau (Kazakhstan) and Baku/Alyat (Azerbaijan) and the Agreement on interaction and responsibility in providing the organization of cargo transportation as part of container trains along the route TITR. The participants of the General Meeting, in order to provide a one-stop-shop service on the TITR route, will consider the possibility of creating a single logistics operator on the TITR route until December 1, 2021. The TITR, also known as the Middle Corridor, combines the countries participating in China’s new Silk Road project and important players of the region. Its members are leading maritime and transport companies from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, China and Turkey. The organisation aims to popularise the middle corridor, accelerate and simplify cargo transportation procedures between Asia and Europe, and make special preferential tariffs. Between East and West, in terms of cargo, the middle corridor helps to compete with the north-south routes. TITR allows European companies to bypass Russia, which until now sanctions the transit of certain types of goods through the country. A number of Russian entities are under sanctions from the international community following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014. The importance of this route was underlined with the inclusion of Georgia and Azerbaijan in the European Union (EU) TEN-T network. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2021.