The demand for cargo transportation through the territory of Azerbaijan via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) has increased considerably in the current geopolitical situation, says Khudayar Hasanli, Head of Strategic Planning and Development Department of Baku International Sea Trade Port.
According to him, Azerbaijan’s transit potential in the East-West transport corridor is among the most stable ones in today’s realities.
“Cargoes moving from China and Central Asia to the EU countries, the Black Sea, and in the opposite direction are currently reoriented to transit through our country. We believe that in this way we will be able to redirect a heavy flow of cargo, including containerized cargo, to Azerbaijan. In order to ensure transshipment of this additional cargo through the territory of Azerbaijan, the relevant agencies, in particular, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, Baku Port, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC and other cargo carriers, have set up a joint monitoring center for synchronization of cargo transportation, as well as development and expansion of the existing potential,” Hasanli said.
Some work in this area has already been done, and the short-term development concept for these routes has been submitted to the government of Azerbaijan, he added.
Mr. Hasanli also reminded that the route for transshipment of cargo from China to Europe via Azerbaijan is already in place.
“A number of block trains have already crossed the territory of Azerbaijan along this route to date. As we know, cargo shippers always prefer stable, short and cost-efficient corridors. Azerbaijan meets all these criteria. A large cargo flow is expected along the East-West corridor through the territory of our country. The short-term (2-3 years) plan is to bring the transshipment rate to 10 million tons of cargo, and in the medium term, we plan to install additional port cranes to provide faster transshipment of containers. Implementation of this initiative will increase the port’s container handling capacity to 35-40 thousand TEU per year,” Hasanli said.