Far East Land Bridge (FELB), which is running the biggest portion of container trains between China and Europe, is now getting prepared for a new container train between Suzhou (China) and Poti (Georgia).
The train will start from Suzhou, at the eastern shores of China, will go through Russia (via Zabaikalsk/Manzhouli border crossing), follow Trans-Siberian route, enter first Baku in Azerbaijan and end at Poti in Georgia.
The service will mainly be given by 40’ containers of FELB. The train will reach from China to Poti in 15 days and is planned to cost less than USD 10k. Connected truck services will be available at Poti to many cities including Turkey.
There have been many intentions and some attemps for similar routes. A train reached to Baku from China. Another to Poti. This train will be the first to use Trans-Siberian railway.
This train is expected to be a challange to Kazakhstan which has been investing a lot to get more share from China traffic, also to Caspian region and Turkey.
FELB’s train has a disadvantage of completing a longer route when bypassing Kazakhstan. On the other hand, train will not need ferry to cross Caspian Sea which would cost time and money.
The train is expected to play an important role on freight traffic between China and West of Caspian region (Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia). And it may be the predecessor of China-Turkey train which may come true after opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.