By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO) has a strategic role in cargo transportation along transport routes passing through the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan within the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).
TITR extends from the Chinese-Kazakh border to the European countries, passing through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The corridor has defined a single transit route with the principle of "single window" and container trains are successfully transported through the route within this project. A regular increase in the number of feeder vessels is observed on the route due to the increase in cargo volume.
ASCO will launch a feeder vessel for a test voyage along the Batumi-Constanta Black Sea container route.
An agreement on the organization of feeder cargo transportation between the ports of Batumi and Constanta via the ASCO vessel was reached during a meeting of the working group of the TITR association of legal entities in Tbilisi.
The meeting was attended by Rauf Valiyev, Chairman of ASCO, as well as representatives of railway and transport companies of Georgia, Kazakhstan and Romania.
During the meeting, the creation of a container route between the Black Sea ports of Batumi (Georgia) and Constanta (Romania) was discussed and appropriate decisions were made.
In accordance with the agreement, the ASCO will launch a feeder vessel for a test voyage by September 20. The vessel will be sailing three times a month, that is every 10 days.
The Batumi-Constanta container route provides for the transportation of goods transited on the Europe-China-Europe and Europe-Central Asia-Europe directions.
The delivery time of goods in these directions is expected to be reduced due to the new container route. This, in turn, will increase the attractiveness of the TITR, passing through the Black Sea, as well as the volume of container transit cargo through the territory of Azerbaijan.
ASCO provides transport services related to offshore oil and gas operations within TITR as well as the transshipment of cargoes and passengers. ASCO was established in 2013by merging Azerbaijan’s two largest fleets - Azerbaijan State Caspian Sea Shipping Company and Caspian Sea Oil Fleet of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
The company includes specialized fleet, shipyards as well as transport fleet. ASCO tanker fleet holds a leading position in the Caspian basin. The company attaches particular attention to equipping its fleet with new vessels in order to keep its reputation in the field of freight transportations.
ASCO and Marine Engineering Bureau established the joint venture Caspian Marine Engineering Bureau in December 2016 for engineering services in the field of maritime transport.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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