Kazakhstan Expects 35 Million Ton Surge in Transit Traffic by 2029

ASTANA – The transit traffic through Kazakhstan will increase to 35 million tons by 2029, said the Minister of Transportation Marat Karabayev at the government meeting on Nov. 21 in Astana, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.

Photo credit: Universal Postal Union.

According to him, to reach that goal, the ministry will implement measures, such as increasing the capacity of border points and mainline railway networks, constructing new and repaired existing railway lines, improving tariff policy, and renewing passenger cars.

“As part of the President’s instruction to develop the country’s transport and logistics potential, special attention is now paid to transit transportation. The indicator of container transportation for 2022 increased by 29% compared to 2020. The growth rate in the current year remains at 15%. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia are the main transit directions. At the same time, our main task is to maximize the attractiveness of trans-Kazakhstan directions and provide adequate infrastructure to meet the economy’s needs and international transit,” said Karabayev.

According to the minister, Kazakhstan’s geographical position provides excellent opportunities for the development of transit potential.

During the first ten months, 22.5 million tons of freight were transported through Kazakhstan’s borders, a 19% increase in volume. Transportation of containers grew by 15% over this period. The cargo transported by rail rose by 3% overall, totaling 246 million tons. By the end of 2023, the goal is to raise this amount to 300 million tons of cargo.

The volume of cargo from China to Europe through Kazakhstan has increased significantly in recent years, and China now accounts for 27% of Kazakhstan’s transit traffic, or 6.2 million tons, said Karabayev.

According to the minister, most of Kazakhstan’s 27 railway border crossing points operate to capacity. The technical capacities of Dostyk, Altynkol, and Saryagash stations in the directions of the PRC and several Central Asian countries will be fully utilized by the end of the year, he said.

During the same meeting, Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov highlighted the critical role of the railroad in the transportation industry and the country’s economy.

“Our country is located in the center of the continent, at the junction of many international transport routes. Every year transit transportation through Kazakhstan between Asia and Europe grows. Last year, rail freight traffic between Kazakhstan and China alone amounted to over 23 million tons. This year, this figure increased by another 22%,” said Smailov.

According to him, it is necessary to carry out systematic work on infrastructure development and renewal of rolling stock in the face of rapidly growing transit volumes.

“For this purpose, in the next 3 years new railroad branches with a length of over 1 thousand km will be built. These are Dostyk-Moyinty, Bakhty-Ayagoz, Almaty bypass line. This week we will give a start to the beginning of construction of Darbaza-Maktaaral section,” said Smailov.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!