Russian Railways is to spend more than 200 billion roubles on the development of infrastructure in order to achieve a fourfold increase in the volume of transit container shipments by 2024.
The decision was announced by Alexey Shilo, the Director of Commercial Activities and the head of the Centre for Corporate Transport Services at OJSC Russian Railways and is in response to the task set in a decree issued by the President of Russia.
According to Shilo, Russian Railways has a plan for the development of transit traffic which provides for the creation of 26 new railway stations and strengthening the power supply system along 1,300 kilometres of track, as well as a number of other infrastructure measures.
Shilo stressed that all these plans should be synchronised with the development programmes of all participants along the routes: the shippers, ports and border crossings etc.
He added that it was equally important to gain the trust of customers in order to achieve a multiple increase in transit volumes:
“The first term in the ideal formula for transit traffic is the stability and predictability of tariffs, which OJSC Russian Railways has not changed since 2011. The second aspect is to improve constantly the level of service. And the third is that each participant in the chain has to work to increase its efficiency on an ongoing basis. As a result, consumer trust is then expressed in the number of tons of freight and goods transported and the number of clients and so on”, said Alexei Shilo.
In order to solve these problems, Shilo said that the RZD holding would continue to develop electronic services aimed at both simplifying customer access to transportation services and improving internal processes. Even today, some standard operations, for example, booking empty wagons, occur automatically.
Another important area is the change to a universal CIM/SMGS consignment note, which will allow shippers to transport cargo between different countries on a single transport document and speed up border and customs operations.
Shilo said that from 2019, Russian Railways planned to switch to the registration of such invoices in electronic form.
“Together we have to create a system that will benefit everyone. Only integrative solutions can achieve success. And the results of our joint integration project with Belarusian and Kazakhstan railways, through the United Transport and Logistics Company (UTLC), make clear just how effective this approach is proving,” said Alexei Shilo.