TRACECA national secretary talks increasing cargo traffic via Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan has every opportunity to significantly increase the volume of cargo transit through its territory, National Secretary of the Transport Cooperation Program (TRACECA – Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia) for Azerbaijan Akif Mustafayev told Trend.

It is necessary to solve several issues in order to achieve this goal, he noted.

“One of the tasks is to attract carriers from other countries, for example, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Azerbaijan and other countries need to work to improve the border crossing procedures,” Mustafayev said.

“Also relevant is the issue of changing wheels of trains at the border of Georgia with Turkey, because a wide railway track is used in Azerbaijan and Georgia, and a narrow railway track is used in Turkey and European countries. This increases the period of transportation,” the national secretary added.

“Also the introduction of a single tariff for transportation from China to Europe through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey is under discussion. This will allow shippers to pay a single tariff to a single operator for transportation,” Mustafayev said.

“In short, there are deficiencies which should be eliminated, but the prospects of cargo transportation through Azerbaijan by means of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars corridor are great. This can be judged at least by the fact that the volume of traffic is constantly growing,” the national secretary noted.

Earlier, it was reported that Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine may establish a joint venture to introduce the principle of “single window” in the processing of goods transported along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

It is expected that this year, new competitive tariffs will be imposed on cargo transportation through TITR. At the same time, the volume of cargo to be transported through TITR during 2018 has been approved at more than 3.5 million tons, while about 15,000 containers are planned to be transported from Turkey to Kazakhstan, Central Asia and China.

The national secretary stressed that the volume of supplies from China to Europe will allow loading all available routes.

“Azerbaijan has recently put into operation the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. I note that Azerbaijan does not need to compete with Russia. There are lots of cargoes in Asia, especially in China, and they will be more than enough for all,” the national secretary added.