UTLC ERA: Boosting Infrastructure Bodes Well for Future Eurasian Logistics
The significance of fast and safe deliveries from point A to point B has remained steadfast throughout the annals of commerce. Recognizing the inherent advantages offered by rail transport, nations are now ardently engaged in the construction of infrastructure and the concurrent advancement of technology.
– Mr. Grom, could you please tell us how the company performed in the last 9 months? – Over the course of the last nine months, we have overseen the transportation of more than half a million containers, a feat that nearly mirrors our accomplishments during the equivalent period in 2022. It is imperative to underscore that the preceding year was a watershed moment, setting records in terms of cargo throughput.
– How do you assess the state of railway infrastructure in Kazakhstan? Is it sufficiently robust to sustain the projected surge in transit, or are there areas of concern? – The services we offer facilitate the transit of nearly all cargo through Kazakhstan. As we continue to witness a notable upswing in traffic, I am delighted to extend a favorable evaluation of Kazakhstan's infrastructure. Our paramount concern revolves around addressing the occasional bottlenecks we encounter, and I am pleased to report that substantial strides are being made in rectifying these issues.
– Are there any specific segments of infrastructure that warrant particular attention? – I would direct your attention to the Dostyk – Moyynty section, for instance. Remarkable progress is underway, characterized by the expeditious construction of an additional railway line. This development is poised to enhance traffic capacity manifold, and it bodes well for the future of our operations. Furthermore, initiatives like the establishment of the third Chinese Bakhty – Ayagoz border crossing and the creation of a new railway line circumventing the Almaty railway junction hold immense significance. These projects assume a pivotal role as Kazakhstan emerges as the epicenter of Eurasian transit shipping, firmly establishing itself as a key player within the container shipping sector.
– How would you gauge the status of infrastructure in China and Europe, and to what extent are we in harmony with these regions? – The panorama of Eurasian railway infrastructure is distinctly favorable, marked by synchronized growth that paves the way for seamless end-to-end supply chains and augmented shipment volumes. China, in particular, is cognizant of the imperative of concomitant development of border crossings, a principle underscored by the notable expansion in shipment volumes. In Europe, consider, for instance, the Brest – Malaszewicze border crossing, which has witnessed the addition of five private terminals since 2016. Each of these terminals boasts substantial capacity for container handling and beyond. This paradigm extends to the creation of dry hubs in Poland and Germany. All these endeavors serve as a testament to the wisdom of building substantial reserves to accommodate future growth within any infrastructure framework.
– How do the ongoing infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan impact your company? Does an expanding landscape of opportunities further whet your appetite for growth? – Since our inception in 2016, our appetite for expansion has grown consistently. By the close of 2022, we had successfully transported approximately 700 thousand containers, a significant achievement considering our initial projection of reaching 500 thousand by 2025.The railway industry favors stakeholders with the foresight to chart long-term strategies, and those seeking quick returns on investment often find themselves ill-suited to this sector. Rail projects necessitate enduring, nation-specific investments that will yield dividends for generations to come.\
– In addition to infrastructure development, what proactive steps should stakeholders in Eurasian shipping undertake to further catalyze transit growth? – Stakeholders must embark on an innovation journey aimed at maximizing container traffic along existing routes without the need for substantial infrastructure augmentation. Our concerted efforts in service refinement, for example, have resulted in Chinese trains being able to accommodate an expanded container load, elevating infrastructure capacity by 30%. We are presently exploring avenues to effect a 10% increase. Digitalization assumes paramount importance, imbuing transportation with heightened transparency and expediting document processing. Furthermore, a sustained drive to curtail costs and elevate service quality is essential. Above all, nurturing human capital assumes a position of preeminent importance. This underpins our active engagement in diverse initiatives, including educational programs in collaboration with prominent universities within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).