Representatives of major transport and logistics operators from Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have agreed at a meeting in Istanbul to establish a consortium for transporting goods from China to Europe, including Northern and Eastern Europe, through Ukraine. The Interfax Ukraine news agency reported this, citing the press service of the Georgian Railway.
The agreement was reached during presentation of opportunities and prospects for a China-Turkey-Europe trans-Caspian transport route, which was held in Istanbul within the framework of the Logitrans international transport logistics exhibition.
In addition to the Mishgeng Logistics company (China), the following expressed their willingness to become co-founders of the consortium: KTZ Express (a subsidiary of Kazakhstan Railways), CJSC Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company, the Caravan Logistics company (Azerbaijan), and Trans Caucasus Terminals LLC (a subsidiary of the Georgian Railway). The Turkish side will be an associate member of the consortium.
"A decision was made to organize the first demonstration train from China to Europe and launch a regular container service in this direction," Trans Caucasus Terminals LLC’s Director Levan Sulaberidze is quoted as saying in a press release.
He noted that the first few thousand containers are expected to be transported from China to Turkey and Europe through the territory of Georgia within the framework of this project in 2016, and transportation of goods via Ukraine to Northern and Eastern Europe is also scheduled to begin next year.
"Thus, Georgia will return to the traditional, historic trade route called the Silk Road," said Sulaberidze.
One of the component parts of the Trans-Caspian transport route should be the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which has a total length of 826 kilometers and is scheduled for commissioning in 2016.