Multimodal solutions via Kaliningrad strengthen footprint on New Silk Road

2021/10/19 at 9:30 AM

More and more freight forwarders are moving containers between China and Europe via the Kaliningrad region of Russia bypassing congestions on the conventional route. This has already resulted in a sharp increase in container traffic in the Russian exclave. The multimodal solutions with short-sea services show the fastest pace in attracting new freight volumes.

Container train traffic in the Kaliningrad region has been growing at an impressive pace for the second year in a row. This became possible mostly due to the transit freight trains from China to Europe or back. Around 80,700 TEU were moved via the Russian exclave from January to September that is 3.4 times higher than during the same period of the previous year.

A container train from China to Europe runs via Kaliningrad, source: Russian Railways (RZD)

New trend

Meanwhile, there is another trend for the China-Europe container trains running via the Kaliningrad region. This year more and more volumes are being transported by using multimodal (rail-sea) solutions, namely via the ports of Kaliningrad and Baltiysk. The share of multimodal solutions was around 61.3 per cent in 2020, it increased up to 81.3 per cent in the first quarter of the current year. Now, after nine months, it accounts for 67,100 TEU or 83 per cent of the container traffic running from China to Europe via the Kaliningrad region.

Results in 2020

In 2020 the China-EU container traffic via Kaliningrad increased 4.6 times compared to the results of 2019. 47,500 TEU containers were moved via the Russian region. More than 29,100 TEU containers were transported via the ports of Kaliningrad and Baltiysk. The remaining share, 18,400 TEU were shipped via the Mamonovo/Braniewo railway border crossing. It is worth noting that over 800,000 TEU containers from China to Europe or back were transported via Russia in 2020, which is 37.6 per cent higher than the year before.

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