5 Apr 2024 12:27

Russia expects 7% increase in freight traffic with China in 2024

MOSCOW. April 5 (Interfax) - JSC Russian Railways expects freight traffic with China to increase 7% in 2024 versus 2023, Deputy General Director Alexey Shilo told reporters.

"To China in Q1 [2024], the transportation volume dynamics are positive, at plus 8% [versus Q1 2023], and plus 3.2 million tonnes in absolute figures. We transported 42.5 million tonnes in total in the first quarter. We have seen an increase of 21% through Chinese border crossings, and there is a 3% increase in traffic to China via seaports. We expect growth in traffic with China this year of about 7%," Shilo said.

As for the growth of transit from China to Europe via Russian territory due to the situation in the Red Sea, Shilo noted that the delivery time for cargo by rail from China's borders to the borders of the EU still ranges from 5 to 7 days, which is an average of 3-5 times faster than by sea.

"There is a certain change in trends this year. We really see an increase in container transit between China and Europe. In the first quarter, it grew 44% compared to the same period last year; that is, we transported almost 90,000 TEU. The second trend is transit between Belarus and China. I can say that it has increased 68% compared to the same period last year, and we transported a total of about 135,000 TEU on the route," he said.

When asked about forecasts for the year, Shilo said that Russian Railways sees continued demand for transportation from China to Europe: "We expect that the growth of transit traffic in Q2 will also be around 30-40%."