UTLC ERA CEO: International cargo freight in Eurasia grows fast

Press about us
19 September 2023

“The One Belt, One Road initiative is extremely important not only for our company, but for the whole international community. It’s global in nature, so the entire world benefits fr om it,” said UTLC ERA CEO Alexey Grom in an interview with the sociopolitical paper People’s Daily (China).

Mr. Grom pointed out that several stable transport corridors were established in Eurasia since the initiative’s launch. “The decision to set up our company was made in 2013, and we’ve been walking hand in hand with the initiative ever since,” added Mr. Grom.

UTLC ERA was established on a parity basis by railroad administrations of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. It transports accelerated container trains over the three shareholder countries. As the One Belt, One Road initiative gained steam, China-Europe trains showed great improvement in freight carried. In 2015, UTLC ERA operated 15 transport routes, and now there are almost 700 of them. “Our company’s growth accelerated because of successful linking between the One Belt, One Road initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union.” says Mr. Grom.

“Life blossoms wh ere railroads develop,” adds the top manager. China-Europe trains contribute greatly to the development of countries included in the Belt and the Road. He pointed out that the decade of the initiative’s development begot a great number of infrastructure projects, terminals, joint ventures and new transport links. As Mr. Grom emphasized, those are new capacities that entered the China-Europe railway services.

In 2022, UTLC ERA transported nearly 700,000 TEUs, while about 350,000 TEUs have been carried in the first six months of 2023, showing a 14% increase vs. the same period of the previous year. Smiling, Mr. Grom recalls that their objective from the beginning was to reach 1 million containers carried, and it seemed impossible. Right now, everyone there thinks that goal is achievable.

As Mr. Grom points out, China-Europe international rail routes have a number of obvious advantages, including transit speed cost, cargo security and environmental safety. Transport corridors of that sort establish convenient links between China and Europe, to international cargo owners’ benefit.

“The China-Europe cargo transport project is in line with development strategies of countries the transport corridor passes through. Economic benefits and the multiplicative effect it brings in cannot be overstated. I sincerely hope even more countries join the initiative,” says Mr. Grom. He also thinks railroads are the industry that brings countries, companies and people closer together; it is a fascinating and very promising business area.