A new intermodal transport service is announced between Europe and CIS/Iran.
Hupac, the Swiss operator, has introduced a new intermodal service between Europe and Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran in cooperation with ADY Container and Azerbaijan Railways.
The service is given with dry (20’, 40’, 40’ HC, 45’) and tank (20’) containers. The loads are collected from main European cities at Poland, and transported to Baku following Ukrain, Black Sea and Georgia. The route passes through Caspian Sea for further destinations. The transit time to Astara (Kazakhstan) is about 14-15 days.
The important think to consider is that although Hupac has an intermodal connection directly to Turkey in cooperation with Turkrail, it has choosen via Ukrain route for Baku. Opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route has not been attractive enough to shift the Europe-Azerbaijan rail corridor to Turkey yet.
The via Ukrain route has the main advantage of high-volume rail services from all over Europe to Poland, effective terminal services at Poland and reliable service between Odesa and Poti ports.
Another European operator, Rail Cargo, had recently announced a new intermodal service to Iran via Trieste and Mersin ports, but the project was postponed.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route is expected to be more competitive after completion of Marmaray project and opening of Ankara pass. Freight trains will be able to pass via Marmaray tunnel by the end of 2018 and Ankara pass is expected to open by next month.
Cover Photo: Hupac ©