More than 500 thousand TEUs have been transferred on UTLC ERA’s transit services across the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus since the beginning of 2020. For the first time ever in the history of rail freight traffic this record has been achieved on 1520 mm China-EU track gauge. The current total transit volumes are one and a half times higher than for 2019 (333 thousand TEU).
The key factors that contributed to volume growth are predictability and stability of supplies that rail insures during the pandemic. Rise in the cost of air and sea freight due to COVID-19 restrictions had its impact as well. Driven by railway advantages major goods and auto manufacturers have made a decision to expand rail freight traffic between Europe and China during the coronacrisis. They highlighted that time and several tests proved that rail is way more reliable than expected, especially in winter season.

According to Wheeler Management and the Center for Integration Studies of the Eurasian Development Bank, the annual volume of rail container traffic between China and Europe increased from 100 thousand TEU to 725 thousand TEU in 2016-2019.

By the end of 2020, these indicators may exceed the current maximal bar. Alexey Grom, CEO of UTLC ERA, commented on the company's results: “For six months in a row, the trend of growth in traffic volumes on the regular services of UTLC ERA has been maintained. In August we got an absolute record in our services, particularly, transported 56 thousand TEUs/month.

Today the overall volume is already over 500 thousand TEUs which show the significant grow of the corridor. It’s very much along to our strategy and to the strategy of the countries along the Silk Way that are working to make the slogan «One belt, one road, one million» come true. Half of the goal to deliver one million containers per year on this route has been achieved. So that our plans and expectations are very much focused on this target and we will continue with our partners to get there sooner than 2025”

"We know the year of 2021 is declared in Europe Union as the year of railroads, and I think this is a very good initiative”, – stated Grom, – “However, a single year is just a moment for the railway industry, a flash, it will go like a second. What if we propose to nominate next 5 or 10 years together on our Eurasian continent as the railway era, so to speak? I think this is going to be in the benefit of the countries in this significant supply chain China-EU”.