Transit of Chinese goods to Europe via TITR increases more than twofold

Transit of container cargo from China to Europe has risen by 3.4 times / Photo:, photo editor: Aruzhan Makhsotova

Over the period from January to April 2024, the volume of maritime shipment via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR or the Middle Corridor) grew by 15%. The transit of container cargo from China to Europe has risen by 3.4 times, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Furthermore, the agency also reported an increase in motor freight transportation via the port of Kuryk and containers via the Aktau Port. This year the Ministry of Transport plans to deepen the bottom of the port of Kuryk to make it suitable for massive ships. The main work on the project is expected to start in the middle of the summer.

According to authorities the amount of shipment via the TITR in January-March grew by 33%. The Ministry of Transport explained this increase with the launch of the Digital Trade Corridor, namely the Track&Trace and TezCustoms services, which monitor the whereabouts of a shipment and its customs status as well as update transportation documents online. In addition, shippers and freight forwarders can fill out transit declarations through TezCustoms automatically within 30 minutes. 

In early May, the agency said that the technical integration of Track&Trace in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan was completed, while in Georgia this work was still ongoing. Moreover, Kazakhstan is negotiating with Chinese and European partners.

In the middle of May, Vice Minister Serik Zhumangarin called the Middle Corridor «the best possible land route between Asia and Europe.» He promoted this corridor to Vietnamese companies as they would be able to send their product to Europe 3 to 4 times faster than by sea and for significantly lower costs. 

In 2023, more than 2.7 million tons went through the TITR, which is an 86% increase compared to 2022. Authorities expect more about 4 million tons will be shipped through the route this year. In late March, Deputy CEO of KTZ Express for logistics Aibek Kapar said that the TITR is weighing the introduction of five-year tariffs instead of the one-year tariffs as it has now.

In October 2023, Kazakhstan announced its plan to boost transit from 23.2 million tons in 2022 to 35 million tons by 2030 (by 1.5 times) within seven years. At the same time, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has instructed the cabinet to expand the commodity turnover with China by 2.5 times to $100 billion. He hasn’t set any deadlines, though. Last year, the volume of trade between Kazakhstan and China grew by 30% to $31.5 billion.

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