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30 November 2020, 19:58

First container train from Japan to Europe crosses Belarus

MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) – Belarusian Railways has provided passage and terminal services to the first full container train carrying goods from Japan to Western Europe. It was part of a joint project of Belarusian Railways, Russian Railways, AO RZD Logistics, and the Russian Far East shipping company FESCO, the Belarusian Railways press service told BelTA.

Containers were loaded with various cargoes in the Japanese ports of Hakata, Kobe, Toyama, and Yokohama and delivered by FESCO to the commercial port of Vladivostok in order to be loaded on a train. The container train left the port on 18 November. It was bound for the Belarusian city of Brest and for various destinations in Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Poland) after that.

Belarusian Railways secured the train's passage across the country in less than 12 hours. The containers were reloaded onto European track gauge platforms at the container terminal Brest North. Customs documents were drawn and other kinds of control were performed. The train was handed over to a Polish transport company that will take care of its passage along European railways on 28 November.

Belarusian Railways representatives stressed that the new logistics service allows halving the time in transit. It takes about 50 days on the average to deliver freight from Japanese ports to European ones via the Suez Canal by sea.

Belarusian Railways tightly cooperates with Russian Railways in order to develop container transportation services. In 2020 Belarusian Railways and Russian Railways teamed up as part of the Intertran project to organize the first transit intermodal container shipment using digital technologies. Containers left the Chinese port of Ningbo, went through the Russian port of Vladivostok, and reached the Belarusian railway station Kolyadichi on 3 September.

Belarusian Railways has also teamed up with Russian Railways and Kazakh Railways to work on improving the transit appeal and attracting additional freight as part of the services the united transportation and logistics company UTLC ERA offers. Transit exceeded over 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in January-October 2020, 1.7 times as much as in January-October 2019.

Taking into account the dynamic growth of container transportation Belarusian Railways and shipping companies put persistent efforts into transportation routes via Belarusian-Polish border checkpoints. As of October 2020 Belarusian Railways enabled container train passage via the Belarusian-Polish border checkpoint Bruzgi/Kuznica Bialostocka as part of transportation between China and Europe.

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