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Transit freight by rail via Belarus up by 26% in 2018

Economy 12.12.2018 | 18:45

MOSCOW, 12 December (BelTA) – The volume of freight transported by rail in transit via Belarus rose by 26% in 2018. The figure was mentioned by Belarusian Railways Head Vladimir Morozov during the roundtable session on Belarus' transit potential for transporting Russian foreign trade cargoes in Moscow on 12 December, BelTA has learned.

Vladimir Morozov noted that Belarusian Railways pays much attention to the development of the transit potential. Various technological programs are being implemented and the pricing policy is being improved with that in mind. “Results of the year indicate we've chosen the right way,” he said. “Transit by Belarusian Railways has increased by virtually one fourth this year. It is one of the highest results in the last ten years.” To reach the goal, Belarusian Railways has implemented investment projects to increase throughput capacity, including by means of electrifying some railway sections and increasing speed along the main corridors. Belarusian Railways has prepared its rolling stock for handling more traffic: 30 modern electric locomotives have been bought recently while all the diesel trains have been modernized.

Vladimir Morozov mentioned Russia as one of the main partners in freight transportation. “Russia is very important. 90% of the traffic is the cargoes that travel from Russia to Belarus or via Russia,” he noted.

Transit is an exceedingly topical matter due to the importance of the transport component for the Belarusian economy, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of Belarus in Russia Vladimir Stepuk said during the roundtable session. In his words, transport industry accounts for about 6% of the GDP. In 2017 transportation services accounted for 45% of the total export of services. Transportation represents 60% of the export of services to Russia, making a tangible contribution to Belarus' foreign trade.

The diplomat said that a strategy on transit freight transportation is being implemented to attract freight traffic to Belarus. It includes the modernization of the legal base, the modernization of the railway infrastructure, the pursuance of a flexible pricing policy, the introduction of modern information technologies, and efforts to optimize delivery schemes.

Following the established tradition, Belarusian Railways in association with the Embassy of Belarus in Russia arranges a roundtable session in Moscow at the end of the year to highlight the development of Belarusian Railways' transit potential. The main goal of this year's event was to secure more freight traffic for transporting between Belarus and Russia, reveal the company's pricing policy for the next year, demonstrate Belarus' transit potential for transporting Russian exports and imports, and present capabilities of the Belarusian Railways company Belintertrans – Transport-Logistics Center. Representatives of the railway administrations of Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania, branches of Russian Railways, the united transport and logistics company Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA), and Russian consignors took part in the roundtable session.

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