Port of Baku signs MoU with European companies
By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan's Port of Baku, which is the largest and busiest port in the Caspian Sea, has signed a memorandum of understanding with two European companies, that will contribute to the cargo turnover between Europe and China.
Port of Baku, Austrian ÖBB Rail Cargo Group and Cabooter Group (NL) signed an agreement to strengthen and expand the freight traffic from Europe to Central Asia and China via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (Middle Corridor) on November 25, Port of Baku reported on its official website.
Austrian Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology Andreas Reichhardt, and Azerbaijani Ambassador to Austria Galib Israfilov were also present at the signing ceremony. The parties have decided to jointly promote the Middle Corridor in Europe and strengthen the connections between the existing European freight networks and logistics hubs in Europe with the Port of Baku.
Andreas Reichhardt said that the signed MoU marked a new strategic initiative of the Rail Cargo Group, expanding its presence towards Central Asia and China.
“The Port of Baku is going to play a key role in the development of the initiative. We expect that over a short period, the mentioned route will be very efficient in terms of timing and volumes of cargo transshipment,” he added.
Director-General of the Port of Baku, Taleh Ziyadov noted that the agreement with the Austrian ÖBB Rail Cargo Group, is an important milestone in expanding the West-to-East transport corridor from Europe’s busiest logistics hubs in the Netherlands such as Venlo and Germany to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Central Asia and further to China.
The meeting with the leading logistics companies of Austria, which aim to expand towards Caucasus, Central Asia and China was also held at the embassy of Azerbaijan in Vienna. Further development of logistics and distribution hubs along the Middle Corridor, including the Port of Baku, were discussed more during the meeting.
Located at the intersection of the East-West and North-South transport corridors, the Baku International Sea Trade Port (Port of Baku) plays an important role in expanding the country's transit capacities.
The port was commissioned in 2018. It is located on an area of 400 hectares of land, of which about 100-115 ha cover the area for the development of the international Logistics and Trade Zone. The northern areas around the port are reserved for future expansion of logistics, industrial, and manufacturing activity. The port can simultaneously receive up to 12 ships.
In 2018, the total volume of cargo transportation at all terminals of the Port of Baku was about 3.8 million tons, of which 84.5 percent (3.2 million tons) accounted for transit cargo.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route is a project initiated to increase the transit potential and development of the countries of the Caspian region. This route runs from China to Europe through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. As a result of the joint work of the project's stakeholders, the Nomad Express container service was created and pilot container trains from China to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have already begun to function.
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