Chinese company Minsheng Logistics, KTZ Express (subsidiary of Kazakhstan Railways), Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping and Azerbaijani company Caravan logistics, and Trans Caucasus Terminals (subsidiary of Georgian Railway) have agreed to establish a consortium on transporting freight from China to Europe via Turkey. In the international consortium, Turkey will have the associate member status.
The agreement was reached on the 19th of November, during the presentation of opportunities and prospects of the Trans-Caspian transport route “China-Turkey-Europe” that took place on in Istanbul (Turkey). The parties have agreed on the organization on a first demonstrative train from China to Europe via Turkey and also on establishing of regular container service.
Levan Sulaberidze, the director of Trans Caucasus Terminals, stated that in 2016 the transport of the first few thousand containers from China to Turkey and Europe via Georgia is planned. Next year, the parties also want to launch the transportation of goods to Northern and Eastern Europe via Ukraine and as well to the Baltic States.
A first pilot container train, the Nomad express, from Shihezi, China, to Georgia via Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has arrived at Baku International Sea Trade Port on August 3rd. The second container train via the Trans-Caspian international transport route arrived in Georgia via Azerbaijani in October.
According to Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ), Nomad Express will soon offer services for China – Kazakhstan – Azerbaijan – Georgia – Turkey (Istanbul) route.
In addition, Lithuania also expressed interest in joining the Trans-Caspian Route Development project. “We are interested in increasing the volumes and coordination of operations on development of Viking and Nomad Express projects,” said Vice Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania S. Girdauskas, after a meeting on the potential of the China-Europe Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, held in Klaipeda (Lithuania, November 27th).