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Kazakhstan Plans to Boost Volume of Cargo Transit from China to Europe by 2029

Kazakhstan plans to increase the volume of cargo transit from China to Europe through its territory five-fold by 2029, said Deputy Minister of Transport, Satzhan Ablaliyev, during a Dec. 5 government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

According to Ablaliyev, in the first nine months of this year, the volume of road freight transportation reached 5.5 million tons, which is 22% more than in the same period last year. The share of domestic operators is 42%.

The volume of transit transportation increased by 44% – from 2.5 million tons to 3.6 million  tons – compared to last year. The largest share falls on China – cargo transportation in this direction has doubled to 1.5 million tons.

“According to expert estimates, up to 1.6 billion tons of cargo are transported annually from China to Europe by sea. Less than 1% of this volume is transported by road through Kazakhstan. According to global practice, medical products and expensive goods that require delivery within a short time are transported in this way. It is expected that annual growth will continue in the next few years, and by 2029, the volume of transit traffic will increase five-fold, reaching one million tons,” said Ablaliyev.

The availability of a sufficient fleet of vehicles also plays a key role in the competitiveness of domestic carriers, Ablaliyev highlighted. In the coming years, Kazakhstan intends to double the available equipment for road transportation. To achieve this, the ministry plans to attract representative offices of large international operators to the country.

Ablaliyev also informed about the work being implemented as part of the creation of new routes.

“Today, work is underway to conclude intergovernmental agreements in road transportation with Denmark, Macedonia, Portugal, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The agreement with the UAE will open access to the ports of the Persian Gulf and to the cargo markets of India, Pakistan, and other new countries. At the same time, conditions are being created for fair competition among domestic carriers by introducing an automated system for issuing foreign permit forms in the presence of a specific order for cargo,” said Ablaliyev.

Smailov emphasized that developed road freight transportation directly affects all sectors of the economy.

Today, eight international highway corridors with a total length of nearly 13,000 kilometers pass through the territory of Kazakhstan. Among them are Western Europe – Western China, North-South, and Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA).

“To increase cargo flows along these routes and ensure the rapid passage of goods, it is necessary to reduce existing barriers as much as possible. These include long procedures for processing documents and crossing borders, undeveloped infrastructure, and poor transportation organization. This is exactly what participants in the cargo transportation process are now complaining about,” Smailov said, instructing relevant ministries to develop a roadmap for developing transport and logistics centers and bonded warehouses.