EAEU Member States to Drive Seamless Cross-Border Logistics Tech as Pilots to Run with UTLC ERA Integration Project

07 February 2024
February 1–2, at the regular meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Kazakhstan, before the prime ministers of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, CEOs of state-owned railway companies of these countries signed a memorandum of commitment to enable harmonized development of the rail transport and logistics in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The memorandum cemented the parties’ support for the joint project of UTLC ERA.
It is intended to give impetus to the further deepening of mutually beneficial cooperation in order to realize the transport and logistics potential of the 1,520-mm gauge space based on integration development, historically established infrastructure and operational relationships between the EAEU member states. The parties recognize critical importance of increasing transport connectivity and general positioning of the 1,520-mm gauge infrastructure in order to attract international freight traffic to trans-Eurasian routes and increase confidence in Eurasia’s main transport corridors.

The memorandum also notes that the integration project of Joint Stock Company United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) plays a special role. The parties emphasize the contribution of  UTLC ERA to increasing competitiveness of container shipments along the international East — West transport corridor for benefits of all the market players (service users). The CEOs of the Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh railway companies provide a backing for UTLC ERA to drive transit traffic between China and the EAEU as an impetus for accelerating the Eurasian integration process.

The signed memorandum marks a new milestone in growing railway transit through the services of  UTLC ERA, as the parties state that they are ready to shift to legally significant e-document flow management and abandon paper CIM/SMGS consignment notes when processing international shipments in transit through Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus before January 1, 2026.

The parties note the need to switch to paperless processing of shipments both for the 1,520-mm gauge space and neighboring 1,435-mm gauge countries, including China — Europe — China transit.

Joint tests and pilots enabling the use of legally significant electronic shipping documents for China — Europe — China shipments will be part of  UTLC ERA project, including in the regulatory sandbox format.

The transition to integrated paperless freight processes and contactless train treatment will provide additional competitive advantages to the Eurasian transit rail routes and will certainly drive cutting-edge digital technologies within the entire transport and logistics system in the EAEU.

Railway companies of the three countries also confirm that they will help improve the efficiency of the Eurasian rail shipments by lengthening train formations, combining trains, agreeing on fixed schedules and minimizing empty trips and unproductive downtime. They also intend to continue working together to enhance coordination and transfer of container trains at the Chinese border crossings.