INTERNATIONAL: Containers of consumer and industrial goods which had left Xi’an on November 1 bound for Hamburg arrived at the Mukran ferry terminal on Germany’s Baltic Sea island of Rügen on November 12, having travelled by rail to Baltysk in Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave and then by sea.
The 1 520 mm gauge leg of the journey was managed by the United Transport & Logistics Co – Eurasian Rail Alliance joint venture of the national railways of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
UTLC ERA said this was the first transcontinental combined rail and sea service to use a single waybill covering both the CIM rules in OTIF member countries and SMGS equivalents in OSJD countries. UTLC ERA envisages that this will help to reduce transit times on Eurasian freight routes.
Kaliningrad offers links to a variety of ferry routes across the Baltic region, and UTLC ERA believes that multimodal services through the port can complement the established routes crossing the land border between Belarus and Poland.
‘The first deliveries of goods via this short sea route already show that there is huge potential’, said UTLC ERA CEO Alexey Grom. ‘However, the success of this new route depends on the degree of integration and interaction between all transport partners. So, we look forward to the further development of our joint project and to opening scheduled services very soon.’