Russia’s RZD Logistics is continuing to roll out new China services: the latest a container route between Moscow and Yantai.
Working alongside subsidiary Far East Land Bridge (FELB), the inaugural service set off on 28 June carrying 42 containers, and is expected to arrive later this week.
Sales director at RZD Olga Stepanova said: “We try to find solutions that will meet the needs of our customers. At Yantai Station, it is convenient to consolidate cargo from all over Shandong province, one of the most industrialised in China.
“It is also successfully connected to the sea terminal, with which we also plan to group and ship to Russia and Europe from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”
By August, Ms Stepanova expects the service to be running weekly, with two further trains due to be launched in July.
Kaliningrad has also come under focus, with United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) suggesting there is considerable growth potential for cargo via ports and terminals in the Kaliningrad region.
UTLC ERA estimates the volume of cargo carried through the Dzerzhinskaya-Novaya and Chernyakhovsk dry terminals on the border with Poland and two ports in Baltiysk and Kaliningrad, can be doubled and could reach one million teu a year.
Cargo sent by UTLC ERA through the Kaliningrad region last year amounted to 9,970 teu, comprising 6,300 teu from Europe to China and 3,670 teu from China to Europe.
Over the first six months of this year, traffic through the region was already 6,096 teu, and the company expects to see further growth.
“We have opened a new corridor in the Kaliningrad region where there are two ports we can use to bypass railway bottlenecks at the boundary between the 1520 mm and EU gauges, and deliver containers by shortsea to major European ports like Hamburg, Rostock and those in Nordic countries,” said UTLC ERA president Alexey Grom.
“As soon as we announced this product we received several proposals from shortsea operators. Dispatch via the ports in the Kaliningrad region is considered to be a good addition to the traditional land routes, in the event that the European railway infrastructure is, for whatever reason, incapable of accommodating increasing cargo.”
The news follows announcements in early May that RZD and sister company Russian Railways would bolster freight services across China, Finland and Turkey.
It is also to work alongside Sinotrans developing transit traffic into Europe, the two signing a strategic cooperation agreement at last month’s Transport Logistic event in Munich.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials claimed earlier this year there had been a 106% increase in the value of cargo travelling by rail from China to Europe, equating to some $33bn.
Xiao Weiming, from the office of the leading group for promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, told Xinhua that 14,691 trips had been made by China-Europe freight trains since 2011.