Losses are growing: Kazakhstan’s cargo is on the border with China
In early September, China imposed regular restrictions on the reception of goods from Kazakhstan, except for container trains on the route China-Europe.
The reason for this decision was the recorded cases of COVID-19 at Alashankou station. Due to this, the number of trains with Kazakh cargo in Kazakhstan is waiting to be sent to the neighboring country, informs Railway Supply magazine with reference to Liter.kz.
Wagons are converted into warehouses for unsent cargo. According to the press service of JSC NC KTZ, Kazakh railways can not send 90 trains or 4,500 cars of domestic exporters. This situation limits the turnover of the wagon fleet, there are traffic jams on the railway tracks, and this creates the preconditions for the delay of passenger trains.
Due to the introduction of restrictions by the Chinese side, losses are borne by both Kazakh shippers and JSC NC “KTZ”. Entrepreneurs spoil the cargo and lose foreign exchange earnings, the railways are fined for the transported goods. The national carrier incurs reputational and financial losses.
Due to infrastructure and quarantine restrictions, China agrees to accept some volumes, but in fact accepts less than stated. So, for 8 months of this year Kazakhstan received cargo from China in the amount of 5.9 million tons, which is 24% higher than the same period last year. At the same time, sent to China 10% lower than last year, namely 8.5 million tons.
This year, two meetings were held at the level of state bodies of the two countries to regulate transportation to China. Following the talks, the parties agreed to increase the number of accepted warehouses at the Dostyk-Alashankou railway checkpoints to 18 trains and Altynkol-Horgos to 10 trains per day.
The railways of the two countries have held 67 meetings since the beginning of the year. The parties discussed the need for joint decisions to ensure the efficient transfer of goods at railway border crossings. For eight months of this year, to the management of the Chinese and Urumqi railways, JSC NC “KTZ” sent more than 50 appeals on the need to take effective measures to increase the reception of goods from Kazakhstan and shipment from China to Kazakhstan.
Also, by agreement with Chinese colleagues at Dostyk station, reloading from wide-gauge wagons to narrow-gauge wagons was organized. This allows to increase freight traffic and reduce downtime of trains. Given the fact that China gives priority to receiving goods in containers, JSC NC “KTZ” recommends Kazakhstan shippers to refocus on container transportation.
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