By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) is a regional project which starts from Southeast Asia and China, runs through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further to European countries.
Kazakh and Azerbaijani national transport companies are the key participants in TITR, a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan told Trend.
The representative stressed that Azerbaijan is a key political and economic partner in the Caucasus region for Kazakhstan, adding that the Kazakh side is optimistic about the future development of bilateral relations.
It was noted that operation of Kazakh Kuryk and Azerbaijani Alat seaports is an important point of bilateral cooperation.
“The ferry complex construction in the Kuryk port was completed in December 2016. It is focused on transshipment of oil products, grain, chemicals, fertilizers and other goods, allowing transshipment of goods without unloading them from wagons,”the ministry representative added.
To reduce the time for processing ferry cargoes between the Kazakh and Azerbaijani ports, a new procedure for issuing transportation documents according to the "one window" principle has been introduced.
"As a result, the time reduced from 10-12 hours on average to four hours, and border authorities as well as customs and temporary storage warehouses work around the clock," the representative noted.
Providing direct transportation of passengers and cargo through the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line project implementation serves to increase the transit potential of the countries in the region. This project implementation, as well as the implementation of freight traffic between the European and Asian countries along this line, also contributed to the increase in the volume of intermodal and container traffic in both directions, according to the Kazakh ministry.
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia agreed on the conditions for the carriage of goods by rail and ferries on the Alat-Aktau-Alat and Alat-Kuryk-Alat routes on March 2017.
In addition, the representative noted that a container train from the Kazakh-Chinese logistics terminal in the Chinese Lianyungang port was launched on November 28, 2018. The container train will proceed via TITR through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to its final destination in Istanbul.
The current plans imply that transportation to this destination will be carried out on a regular basis, according to the ministry.
"Container shipments will be sent from the port of Lianyungang every month. The frequency of shipments will be increased in the future," the representative concluded.
In December 2016, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the participants of the Coordinating Committee for the Development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, decided to establish the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.
Since February 2017, TITR has started its activities.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz