Coal exported from Russian to China in containers

ASIA: Russian Railways has begun the regular export of containerised coal from Krasnokamensk and Priargunsk to China through the Zabaikalsk border crossing, with the use of 20 ft open-top containers simplifying transhipment at the break of gauge.

Each 20 ft container can hold 34 tonnes of coal, and up to 128 containers can be carried per 1 520 mm gauge train.

Containerisation has reduced the time needed for border operations from 4 h to less than 1½ h. It has also increased wagon turnover by solving the problem of coal freezing, which could previously result in wagons standing idle for several days.

‘Together with our partners, we have offered our clients a way to simplify and speed up the process of sending coal for export’, said Aleksey Shilo, Deputy General Director of Russian Railways and Head of the Centre for Corporate Transport Services.

‘This solution is also of interest for our Chinese colleagues, who are working hard on the containerisation of shipments. We hope that such a service will be of interest to customers shipping other inert cargo.’