ÖBB’s Rail Cargo Group, the Port of Baku and the Dutch Cabooter Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to jointly develop the Middle Corridor, which connects Europe and China via Turkey and Azerbaijan. The project has already started in October with a successful pilot train from China via Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkey to Prague.
All three parties are present at the European Silk Road Summit held in Venlo on 26 and 27 November, where they intend to elaborate on the new cooperation. The connection of Venlo on the Middle Corridor has been in the pipeline for a while, the cooperation with Rail Cargo Group (RCG) is a new development.
RCG operates a comprehensive rail freight network, which reaches from the north- and south ports, to Russia and Turkey until China. With the increasing customer demand of alternative solutions to sea transportation, the company is developing its freight transportation products to Asia.
With the signing of this memorandum of understanding, the parties are building the foundation of a strategic cooperation for the establishment of a new Eurasian corridor. Aim of this partnership is on the one side the utilization of the commercial synergies and on the other side the optimisation of operative process through the reduction of cross-border barriers as well as the implementation of innovative digitalisation solutions.
Port of Baku
The port of Baku plays a central role along the Trans Caspian Corridor based on its geographical location and its future position as the central logistics hub. Based on the connection to the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Iran, South Russia and Turkey, the new market should be integrated into the European rail network. Through the signing of the memorandum of understanding, new intermodal products should be jointly developed, which will increase the attractiveness of Baku and the rail product in general.
Meanwhile, the Cabooter Group together with its logistics center in Venlo is developing to an important logistics hub for transportation between Europe and Asia. Beside the existing rail infrastructure of the whole group, Cabooter is currently developing the largest inland rail terminal in the Netherlands with around 280.000 square meters and 900 meters track length.