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Russian Railways expands cooperation with Finnish Railways

“Logistics has always been one of the pillars on which the close links between the economies of Finland and Russia have been built for more than half a century. Together with Finnish Railways, Russian Railways is now for the first time beginning to establish joint subsidiaries in the field of container logistics and rolling stock operations. Time has shown that these solutions were correct and experienced demand on the market,” said Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways and Co-Chairman of the Russian-Finnish Business Council.

Yakunin was speaking during a business roundtable on developing integrated logistics in order to lift Finnish-Russian economic integration to a new level. The roundtable was held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

According to Yakunin, passenger traffic in recent years had grown by up to 30% per annum. A key role in this increase has been played by a new transport product, the Allegro high-speed train operating between St. Petersburg and Helsinki.

In 2014, Russia and Finland started trial runs of transporting freight using paperless electronic invoices. All the technical issues should be resolved by the end of the year, and the service is scheduled to be launched in 2015. These documents are used not only during the actual transportation, but also for decision-making by the customs and border services and other supervisory bodies in the two countries.

It is no exaggeration to say that this move represents a technological revolution in the design of cross-border international traffic and creates new business opportunities.

Vladimir Yakunin said that in the near future, Russian Railways was planning to launch a completely new product jointly with Finnish Railways – piggyback container shipments. Experts on both sides are currently working out issues of pricing, marketing and improving customs procedures in order to create a competitive product.

“All of this is a graphic illustration that logistics is a powerful driver of Russian- Finnish relations. It is important to understand how logistics can be exploited to an even greater extent in order to develop the border regions of both Russia and Finland and which additional synergistic effects can be discovered,” said Vladimir Yakunin.

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