Freeport of Riga article:
Representatives of the Latvian transport and logistics sector have returned from the annual plenary of the Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport, which took place in Nursultana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The Trans-Siberian Railway is the world’s longest railway route, affecting territories far beyond this 10,000 km line from the Far East to Moscow. The Trans-Siberian Railway is like a spine that supports the entire European-Asian transport corridor stretching from such countries as China, Japan and the Central Asia to the Baltic States, Germany and even France. The Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport is an international association. More than 20 countries and 100 companies are members of this impressive logistics network.
The Freeport of Riga Authority has been a member of the Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport since 2014. Ansis Zeltiņš, CEO of the Freeport of Riga: “The goal of this organisation is to promote policies and principles that make rail transport in the European-Asian cargo corridor as efficient and fast as possible by harmonising various business and technical procedures and removing political barriers.”
Though the Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport mostly deals with issues and topics related to railways, it also has a considerable impact on Latvian ports. “We are interested in the general development of this corridor. If it functions smoothly, the Port of Riga will also benefit,” underlines Zeltiņš. “In terms of container cargo transported by rail from Asia, the Port of Riga offers the most convenient route to Northern Europe. As the Eurasian railway transport develops, some containers will be delivered directly from Asia to destinations in Europe, but others will be shipped via sea from the Port of Riga.”
The volume of cargo transported via the Trans-Siberian Railway system keeps increasing. Currently, the average railway slot is 8 minutes, though that number is decreasing. In particular, the volume of container cargo has grown considerably. During the meeting of the Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport, the intention to quadruple the volume of container cargo transported via the Trans-Siberian Railway was repeatedly reiterated. Furthermore, Japan has also shown growing interest in rail transport to Europe. This country has also become a member of the Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport.
There is a lot of competition for container cargo from the Far East among European ports and railway companies. “The advantageous geographical location of Latvia and its well-developed infrastructure is not enough to ensure success; you also need to market and sell these advantages. The Coordinating Council of Trans-Siberian Transport is an excellent platform for achieving that,” claims the CEO of the Freeport of Riga.