INTERNATIONAL: The national railways of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have signed an agreement to establish United Transport & Logistics Co, a jointly-owned company which would provide intermodal services within the three countries’ Common Economic Space, including transit routes between Europe and Asia.

Once government approval is obtained for the plan, UTLC is to be formed as a Russian-registered joint stock company with each railway holding shares in proportion to the assets it contributes to the new company.

RZD plans to contribute its stake of 50% + 2 shares in TransContainer and its 100% stake in RZD Logistics, while the other partners will contribute shares in their subsidiaries including KTZ’s Kedentransservice, along with rolling stock and freight terminals including sites at Dostyk, Altynkol and Brest.

The partners anticipate that UTLC would invest in rolling stock, containers, terminals and IT infrastructure worth US$6·2bn by 2020, to be financed by equity and borrowing without any additional resources from the founders.

The business plan predicts UTLC will carry more than 4 million TEU by 2020.