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Friday 31 July 2020

Thousands of Loaded Wagons Accumulates at Dostyk-Alashankou


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ALMATY (KTZ press service) — 3500 freight wagons loaded with cargo accumulated at the Dostyk-Alashankou border crossing with China.

At an online meeting on rail freight transport to China, Beibut Atamkulov, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan said:

As you know, today there is a problem with the movement of loaded wagons towards the Dostyk-Alashankou border crossing. A significant increase in the loading of goods by our exporters since May has led to a significant accumulation of loaded trains in the border areas. About 3,500 loaded wagons have been temporarily halted due to traffic. In order to eliminate the problems that have arisen, the Ministry is currently negotiating with the Chinese side, directly with the State Administration of Chinese Railways. A corresponding letter has been prepared to the Government of the PRC.

As mentioned in his report, Kanat Almagambetov, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), noted that in order to ensure the timely transfer of export and transit goods to the People’ Republic of China, work is under way to redirect part of the goods traffic via Altynkol. Over the past seven months, the share of goods transport through this junction has risen from 4% to 23%. In addition, work is under way to redirect the freight volumes for containerised transport. Over 7 months of this year, the growth of containerised exports has risen to 13% compared to the same period last year.

Almagambetov pointed out:

Work is underway with shippers of bulk goods to load these goods into big bags. This will reduce unloading time to 12-14 hours. The experiment of 30 railcars loaded with goods (iron ore) was carried out with the rearrangement of wide track to narrow track axles.

In particular, it was noted that despite the impact of the pandemic and the tightening of measures taken by state regulatory authorities in this regard, the volume of traffic between Kazakhstan and China over seven months reached 12.1 mln tonnes. The growth was 30% compared to the same period in 2019, while the volume of cargo shipments from Kazakhstan to China amounted to more than 8 mln tonnes and increased by 41% compared to last year:

This was achieved thanks to the well-coordinated work of railway workers in both countries under the current conditions. The average transport volume of trains on wide gauge for six months was 12.6 trains per day, in July 14 trains per day. KTZ is working to achieve the transfer of 16 trains per day, with the prospect of up to 18.

In addition, Kanat Almagambetov mentioned the development of the railway infrastructure of the Dostyk-Moiynty section at the expense of KTZ. Last year alone, the cost of infrastructure projects amounted to 13.5 bln tenges. The revision of the track (95 km), the extension of the receiving and departure tracks at two separate points of Tokyrau and Orta-Deresin were carried out. In 2020, the cost of the infrastructure projects is 15 bln tenges. The extension of four reception and departure tracks in the “T” park at Dostyk station and much more.

It was also noted during the meeting that in order to attract additional freight traffic and reduce loading from Dostyk Station, favourable tariff conditions for 2020 have been established for transit container traffic through Altynkol Border Station (PRC). In addition, complex special tariffs (10-50% discount) have been established for container transport from China to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Estonia, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Atamkulov summarized:

Today, effective measures have been expressed to regulate the transport process. I propose to set up a working group and to discuss weekly operational issues related to the transport of goods to the PRC. Summarizing the results of today’s meeting, I suggest that the KTZ continue to work with the Chinese side to increase the throughput at the Dostyk-Alashankou border crossing. Also, work on redistributing part of the goods at the Altynkol-Khorgos border crossing, taking into account the creation of technological conditions.

In the meantime, he suggested that shippers continue to work on redirecting goods to China via the Altynkol-Khorgos border passage and on redirecting containerised cargo. It was decided to work with Chinese partners on the timely unloading and reloading of transit and export cargo from Kazakhstan.

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