Odessa, Ukraine (PortSEurope) September 11, 2019 – An agreement has been signed between Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) and the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) to attract more cargo transiting from China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia to European countries to Ukrainian ports using services in the ports of the Black and Caspian Seas.
“The most promising direction in our cooperation should be the activation of container transportations, which go along the Trans-Caspian International Transport route through the seaports of Ukraine. USPA has been recording a 100% increase in container transhipment in our ports for several years in a row. Ukraine is used by the world’s leading container lines and we intend to continue to make the most of the transit potential that our ports and Ukrainian railways have to develop in this direction. In view of this, the beginning of fruitful cooperation between USPA and TITR is very timely step”, USPA head Raivis Veckagans.
The first stage of the work will be to analyze cargo flows and explore opportunities to increase imports, exports, and transit through Ukraine’s seaports of goods transported by the Trans-Caspian International Corridor. In particular, the parties will coordinate efforts to launch a regular feeder connection between the ports of Georgia and Ukraine.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known as the Middle Corridor, combines the countries participating in the 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.
The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road initiative also known as One Belt, One Road, or OBOR) is a Chinese economic strategy to seek better access for Chinese-made products in European markets, which includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities, and cooperation agreements with countries along the Silk Road routes.
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