The speed of transportation of goods through the Black Sea - Trans-Caspian route remains within the planned 9-9.5 days, but there are plans to increase it. Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian announced this at a news briefing, UNN reports.

"The speed of transportation of goods along the Silk Road still remains within the planned 9-9.5 days. In fact, this is an absolutely normal option that will compete with transportation of goods through the territory of Russia and Belarus in terms of time. We are working on acceleration; we have two bottlenecks – a ferry across the Black Sea and a ferry across the Caspian Sea. We are currently talking to the world's leading ferry service operators and I think we will resolve the issue of the Black Sea if we manage to establish cooperation with them. There is currently a very active dialogue with Azerbaijan on reducing the cost of the ferry service across the Caspian Sea and on optimization of the transport route in this region," Omelian said.

As reported, the first experimental freight train on the new Silk Road route was launched from Illichivsk (now Chornomorsk) on 15 January this year. It arrived on the Chinese border on the sixteenth day of its journey. It then remained there for a long time without being loaded with goods and eventually returned empty to Ukraine on 17 April. The train’s return journey took 10 days (it departed from the Dostyk train station in Kazakhstan on 7 April).

Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are trying to implement the new Caspian-Black Sea branch of the Silk Road. According to the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company, “The capacities of the participants in the project allow a container train that will transport 1,000 tons of cargo weekly in each direction to be sent without hindrance.” Read about the freight rates here. 

Ukraine has asked Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan to conclude an agreement on cargo transportation. However, there is an alternative route (through Romania) for delivering Chinese goods to Europe via the Black Sea.