ASTANA – The volume of cargo transportation along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known as the Middle Corridor, increased by 2.5 times to 1.5 million tons in 2022, Vice Minister of Тrade and Integration Kairat Balykbayev said at the second European Union-Central Asia Economic Forum on May 19 in Almaty, reported Kazinform.
According to the statistics, the TITR’s total throughput capacity is 5.8 million tons of cargo annually. The volume of container traffic was 33,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers in 2022, while the current potential of the Middle Corridor is 80,000 TEU containers.
Balykbayev mentioned the roadmap until 2027 for removing bottlenecks along the TITR, signed by the governments of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Türkiye at the meeting on Trans-Caspian connectivity last year.
“Considering the reorientation of transit cargo transportation between Asia and Europe, the shipment growth stood at 200,000,” said Balykbayev.
Over the first three months of this year, the volume of railway freight transportation along the TITR has increased by almost 64% to 433,000 tons. Supply of exports tripled, while imports increased by 22%, with over 4,000 containers transported.
Balykbayev urged to make use of the potential of the Middle Corridor, which enables domestic producers to tap into the European market.
He informed that exports of Kazakhstan’s cargo accounted for 60% of the 1.5 million tons transported last year, with a significant part of the cargo flow of Kazakh exports redirected to the TITR, including petrochemicals, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, coal, ferroalloys, grain, and other cargoes.
“We believe that exports of Kazakh-made products will increase along with the growing potential of the route,” he said.
Balykbayev also emphasized the government’s work to create a container hub at the free economic zone of the Aktau seaport. The construction of the port of Kuryk is nearing completion.
Measures to develop the Middle Corridor include building second railway tracks on the Dostyk-Moiynty railway section and the railway bypass line at the Almaty station.