Geographically Uzbekistan is located at the intersection of the main trade routes in Central Asia. That is why the country has been a key transport hub for centuries. Modern Uzbekistan is also seeking to unlock this potential. For example, the country’s government establishes an open sky regime, participates in huge railways projects, and updates its tariff rules.
Even though Uzbekistan still faces a lot of challenges in transport and logistic infrastructure, a huge amount of work was already done.
According to Uzbekistani State Committee on Statistics, in 2019 the country had transported 1.3 billion tons of cargo, 6.1% more than in 2018. The turnover reached 72.9 tons per one kilometer or 2.2% more than in 2018. The major part of cargo – about 89.2% or 16.2 billion tons per kilometer was transported by trucks. The shares of air, pipeline and railway transport are 0.1%, 5.4% and 5.3% of cargo respectively.
As the Institute of Strategic and Interregional Research under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan reports, Uzbekistan has the highest density of road network among Central Asian states – 41 kilometers of roads per 100 square kilometers of area. For comparison, Tajikistan has 19.4 kilometers, Kyrgyzstan 17, and Kazakhstan 4.7 kilometers.
The share of transport services in the gross domestic product of Uzbekistan is rising. At the end of 2018, this indicator reached 6.4%. The volume of transport services has risen 200 times if compared to the year 2000 from 205.4 billion sum ($20.1 million) to 23.1 trillion sum ($2.3 billion). In total, in 2018 all Uzbekistani logistic centers and warehouses processed about 3.1 million tons of cargo.
However, the transport and logistic potential of Uzbekistan is not unlocked completely. In the World Bank logistics ranking of 163 countries, Uzbekistan holds the 99th position. On convenience criteria, it holds the 120th position. Among the main obstacles for the local logistics industry are undeveloped road infrastructure, lack of well-balanced tariff policy and other troubles.
According to international experts’ estimates, the transit potential of Uzbekistan may increase by 2030 from the current 7 million tons up to 16 million tons or even 23 million tons if regional projects will be implemented.
State Issues for Businesses
As a leader of the logistic market in Uzbekistan, Orient Group is focused on updating relevant infrastructure and bringing high-quality standards in the field. The company’s success story in international consignments began more than ten years ago. Since 2013 Orient has been developing a network of logistic centers. This case is so successful that it is well known even beyond Uzbekistan. All Orient logistic centers are well equipped and may offer any kind of logistic services in one place. Moreover, all work in these logistic centers is fully automatized. That makes it possible to track big and small shipments in real-time. To develop its business further, the company is also planning to create 3PL (third party logistics) to provide high-quality services as a warehouse.
Universal Logistic Services
One of the first Orient Logistics’ centers is an advanced Universal Logistic Services (ULS) container terminal that was built in 2014. Before the start of that project, the company had been studying the experience of it European peers about how to manage the freight traffic, how to build an advanced logistic center and what kind of equipment it may need.
As a result, a sophisticated new railways container terminal that is located on an area of 10 hectares, started to operate near the country’s capital of Tashkent. Currently, its share of the Uzbekistani container services market is 50%. The center has a carrying capacity of more than 120,000 TEU (Twentyfoot Equivalent Unit). Because of proper equipment, ULS can handle containers of any standards or sizes as well as refrigerated cars, open-top containers, dangerous shipments and super-long or over-sized cargo. To simplify accounting and management of cargo, ULS is relying on Solvo.TOS software while all business processes including containers reception, planning, placement, storage and shipment are fully automated.
Chukursay Logistics Center
Because there is a customs post Chukursay at the Universal Logistic Services complex area, the company takes full advantage of this. In 2018 ULS signed an agreement with O’zbekiston temir yo’llari (Uzbekistan Railways) to use the old freight yard at the biggest railway station Chukursay.
For now, the Chukursay Logistics Center project is a part of ULS logistic complex and includes an advanced container terminal and an A-class warehouse. This center is primarily a receiver of all cargo traffic from Kazakhstan, Russia, China and South Asian countries.
Also, this terminal works with containers from Russian Vladivostok and Nakhodka as well as Altynkul station (Uzbekistan). Usually, all shipments from South Asia, Kazakhstan and China are consolidated at the Russian Far East and Kazakhstani Khorgos Gateway terminal.
Orient Logistics Center
Cargo terminal of the Tashkent-Tovarnyi railways station that is located in the very center of the Uzbekistani capital became a site for the multifunctional Orient Logistics Center (OLC). The new center, opened in March of 2019, can receive and process containers, carriages filled with non-bulk or super long cargo, vehicles on wheels and tracked transport. Also, a new A-class warehouse is under construction at the territory of OLC.
The capacity of the logistic center is 120,000 containers a year. Concerning specific equipment, OLC has advanced reach stackers by Kalmar and Konecranes, which helps a lot in the fast processing of cargo that comes here by trains or trucks.
All services with shipment registration, accounting, processing and customs clearing are provided on a one-stop principle. The local railways representative office and offices of other logistic companies are also here next to OLC. The movement of incoming and outbound carriages is tracked with help of Solvo.TOS software that makes it easier to do all legal paperwork and decrease the costs of having carriages inside the country.
Orient Distribution Center
This is the concept of a new multifunctional logistic center. Once it will have been constructed, it would be the biggest project among the Orient logistic centers network. It is expected the project will be gradually completed in three years. The new complex will be aimed primarily at receiving and processing general cargo by railways or trucks.
The new logistic center will have a capacity of 120,000 containers a year. One of the key features of the project are A-class and B-class warehouses with an area of 80,000 square meters combined. Several international companies involved in product distribution, retail or online sales already showed their interest in this center.
To make clients comfortable when they are staying in Uzbekistan, the center will also include a hotel, office building, restaurant and service station for trucks.
Physically, Orient’s Highway Logistics is located out of Tashkent on the international highway М-39. This terminal with an area of 14.4 hectares has met all global standards and is designed to assist domestic and international cargo transportation.
The capacity of Highway Logistics is about 1.2 million tons a year. The center work is based on a one-stop principle as well. It also includes a warehouse, customs post and departments for certification and customs search. All work of this kind is implemented with the help of specialized WMS Axelot software.
Given the size of the terminal, almost 50 trucks may pass through customs registration and search simultaneously. To facilitate foreign cargo carriers to transport shipments out of the country, Highway Logistics makes registration of trucks that came from abroad on its own.
Similar to other Orient logistic centers, Highway Logistics provides truck drivers and terminal clients with all services needed. For instance, the center has a parking lot for 150 trucks, hotel, restaurant, technical service station, and refrigeration terminal to store some products.