European Commission wants to launch Solidarity Lanes for Ukrainian export
Over the course of three months, 20 million tonnes of grain will have to be transported from Ukraine via the transport infrastructure of the European Union to maintain the country’s export and prevent world hunger. The European Commission proposes to launch Solidarity Lanes and improve the operation of logistic chains to meet this task.
Russia’s blockade of the Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea turned out to be a serious obstacle for exporters. The transport of grain from Ukraine, which is one of the largest producers, is a particularly big challenge. It accounts for 20 per cent of the country’s export revenues, and 95 per cent of grain in the pre-war period sold from Ukraine abroad was moved through the Black Sea ports. Steel products, which also constitute a significant part of Ukrainian export, were also transported in the same way. Another issue is the import of fuel, which came almost entirely from Russia and Belarus before the war. Currently, the Ukrainian economy needs to urgently remodel its entire logistics.
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, the Ukrainian Railway has been operating in the war mode and applying non-standard solutions to ensure the transport of humanitarian aid, the evacuation of the population, to transport weapons and ammunition supplied by the Western countries to the areas of hostilities, and at the same time to handle Ukraine’s foreign trade. The European Commission believes that logistic and railway companies from the EU should enable our eastern domestic new channels for servicing foreign trade.
“20 million tonnes of grains have to leave Ukraine in less than three months using the EU infrastructure. This is a gigantesque challenge, so it is essential to coordinate and optimise the logistic chains, put in place new routes, and avoid, as much as possible, the bottlenecks. Our communication addresses the emergency solutions but also medium and long time measures to better connect and integrate Ukraine’s infrastructure with the EU one. For both short-term and long-term solutions, we will work with the Ukrainian authorities and in close collaboration, especially with the neighbouring Member States, who spared no effort in helping during this crisis,” commented Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport.
Priority in transport
In order to launch Solidarity Lanes, the European Commission calls for the provision of additional rolling stock for cargo handling and for prioritising goods from Ukraine in allocating the capacity of the transport network and transhipment terminals. It also calls for greater flexibility in the activities of tax and sanitary services that control cargo. The European Commission will coordinate the management of the temporary storage capacity of Ukrainian exports.
In the medium and long term, the European Commission will work on increasing the capacity of the existing and launching new transport corridors within the TEN-T network that connect Ukraine with EU countries. One of them is the E 40 motorway, connecting Germany and southern Poland with the Medyka/Mostyska border crossing. This line was included in the TEN-T network last year and its importance will now increase. However, this means that new investments in intermodal terminals along this route will be necessary. In recent years, Ukrainians have implemented many investments in the vicinity of Mostyska, a town near the Polish border.
Ukrainian exporters will also need a new “window to the world”, i.e. access to EU seaports. Due to their location, Poland’s Baltic ports seem to be one of the best predisposed to fulfil this role. The possibility of using Polish seaports, airports and intermodal terminals to handle the export of Ukrainian products will be one of the issues discussed during the “Poland Ukraine Business Meeting”, which will be held on 26-27 May in Gdańsk.
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