RLL Container Report - 10 May 2017
From: John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd. Email: email@example.com Date: 10 May 2017
East or West, round-trip is best.
Together with “Terminal Azot”, TransContainer has commenced regular block train services from the Russian Far East to Povolzhye. Previously, cargoes from the Far East to the cities of the Volga Basin were first sent to Moscow, from where the cargoes were then delivered to their final destination. The routing via Moscow took up to 45 days, whereas the new, direct container service has reduced the transit time to a mere 8 to 9 days. Currently, Tolyatti acts as the distribution centre for a monthly train shipment of inbound boxes but the plan is to increase the frequency of trains to one per week, while at the same time expanding the number of receiving points, with Kazan next on the list.
Meanwhile in the Tula Region, the giant fertiliser producer, EuroChem is in discussion with ChemChina about a project to construct a modern, technically-advanced production centre, which would supply fertilisers not only to Russian customers but also to clients further afield. Currently, China and Russia are investing some 10 Billion Roubles in joint-ventures in the Tula region. At the same time, production of mineral fertilisers has commenced in Dzerzhinsk. Once it is fully up and running, the plant will be capable of producing 500 tons of ammonium sulphate per month, which is intended for local farms.
The reduced transport costs mean that the fertiliser now being produced at the Dzerzhinsk plant is 20 to 30% cheaper than alternative products promoted by other “unscrupulous” producers. The various fertiliser plants in the Volga Region are now producing bagged export cargoes, which can quickly be despatched via Nakhodka and other Far East ports. The inbound containers, which are transporting consumer products to the good citizens of the major cities along the Volga basin, need to be returned to the Russian Far East ports. Packing these back-haul units with export cargoes from local factories, is a “win-win” situation for all parties and a good example of the efficient use of intermodal transport resources.
As ever larger volumes of bagged fertilisers are containerised, so these will be distributed from Russian and CIS terminals to receivers around the globe. The equipment owned by RZD and other owners will have to be returned to Russia. This should no longer be viewed as a major logistical problem but rather as an opportunity to seek out new import cargo flows and create intermodal logistical services to Russia and the CIS. Intermodal operators can then open up new transport corridors for Russian exports. For their part, foreign intermodal operators will value the knowledge and expertise of Russian operators and will be more than pleased to use Russian-owned equipment to transport export gods back to Russia and the CIS.
Fesco and Transcontainer have already done much to promote their logistical skills but as more traditional Russian exports are containerised, there will be a growing demand for capable and competent Russian and CIS operators to handle regular flows of both import and export cargoes to the vast landmass stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the East to the Baltic and Black seas in the West.
John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd.
10 May 2017
Copyright ©, 2017, John Keir