[photopress:logistics_trans_siberian_railway_1.jpg,full,alignright]There is a railway 9,000km long directly linking the booming Chinese market with producers and consumers in Europe eight to 10 time zones away.
This is the Trans-Siberian Railway and it has a problem — bureaucratic problems in Russia.
Even so, private rail operators in Russia are keen to tap into the railway’s potential as the cheapest and most reliable route for goods heading both east and west.
Izi Karasu, director of logistics at Procter & Gamble in Russia said, ‘Rail is something that could be significantly preferential over other types of transport, as it’s quite precise. ‘If the products get loaded and there are no issues at the border, you get the goods in good time.’
President Vladimir Putin has given his political blessing to a huge reform program by Russian Railways, the state monopoly known by its Russian acronym RZD. This will involve sinking more than $500 billionn into the ageing rail network to modernize tracks, build 20,000km of lines and buy 1 million freight cars by 2030.
Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. According to analyst such integration is a long way off pointing to a lack of co-ordination along the value chain, bureaucratic inefficiencies, failure to co-ordinate regional authorities inside Russia, and the fact that the much-touted investment programme has yet to be delivered.
Joerg Schreiber, head of Mazda’s Russia office said, ‘We are of course aware of the fact that the Trans-Siberian Railway might offer an attractive alternative. However, practical implementation meets many obstacles, such as weather conditions and the availability of suitable rail carriages.’
Tariffs and customs procedures remain cumbersome and unpredictable, with goods waiting for border clearance from two days to up to two weeks and beyond. Co-ordination is lacking between rail operators, ports and regional officials.
Eduard Faritov, transport analyst at Renaissance Capital, the Moscow-based investment bank said, ‘There is a lack of co-ordination for the entire chain.’
Source: Financial Times
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