As Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway will be opened very soon, the questions is that if current load traffic via Poti Port will shift to this line or not.
Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway is going to open by the end of this month. The first freight train will depart from Baku on 30th of October. The destination is Mersin.
The railway aims to get an important share from traffic between Turkey and Caucasus and Central Asia. Target is an annual volume of 6.5 million tones.
However, Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway is not the only solution on this route. Currently, the traffic is mainly flowing through Poti port.
Which is a better solution, Baku-Tblisi-Kars or Poti? Here’s a quick comparison:
It’s possible to access Caucasus via Poti using vessel, and then truck or train. İstanbul-Bakü is about USD 2000/40’ using this route. Official tariff is not announced yet on Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway, but is expected to be less than this price.
Transit time between İstanbul and Poti is 5-6 days. It’s possible to reach Baku in 10 days from İstanbul. Transit time of Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway is not clear yet, but it seems hard to be less than 10 days.
There’s only one weekly container vessel service from İstanbul to Poti. If trains depart every day, this will be a big advantage for Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway.
Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway will be a big advantage for long loads which cannot be loaded into standard containers. On the other hand, oversize loads in terms of width and height will be hard to achieve for trains, since line is going through narrow tunnels.
Cover Photo: Azerbaijan Railways ©