Freight News, Rail

Rail freight still using Russian routes, despite embargo

[ September 14, 2022   //   ]

China to Europe rail services via Russia are still handling a large volume of traffic, despite the war in Ukraine and widespread trade embargo on Moscow, says consultants Ti.

In a report, What impact has the Ukraine conflict had on China to Europe Rail services, author Thomas Cullen – senior analyst at Ti – says that while many shippers and logistics service providers claim to be avoiding passing through Belorussia and Russia, volumes do not appear to be falling as heavily as might be expected.

Whereas container throughput on the China-Kazahkstan-Russia-Belorussia route was just under 700,00TEU in 2021, volume in the nine months to September 2022 was still about 450,000TEU, said Ti. Recent figures from China Railways imply volume increases of 5% year on-year.

This may be due to activity on the South Caucasus route that avoids Russia, “but it seems unlikely there could be such a large increase on a route that is starting from a relatively modest level of traffic compared to the routes that pass-through Russia”, the report notes.

TI says that the implication is that although the rate of growth may have slowed, the Russian routes are still handling a large volume of freight.