Belarus: Railways set to increase freight traffic to Asia, Pacific region in 2007

Belarusian Railways plans to increase the freight traffic in the direction of Asia, Pacific region, head of the company's marketing and transport logistics department Alexander Yevsiuk said.

He said, this year the company plans to use a high-speed container train on the route from the Chinese city of Urumqi to Belarusian Brest via Kazakhstan and Russia. Besides, the coal traffic from Kuznetsk Basin to Latvia will be increased.

At present cargo traffic via Belarus is handled by some 10 high-speed container trains. The major freight traffic articles are petroleum products, coal, mineral fertilisers, grain, construction cargoes, industrial and consumer goods.

Alexander Yevsiuk also informed, in 2006 the freight traffic of Belarusian Railways reached 133.7 million tonnes, 6% up on 2005. According to the source, in 2006 Belarus imported 14.2 million tonnes of cargoes (126.9% as against 2005), exported 33.7 million tonnes of cargoes (94.5%). The local traffic amounted to 39.5 million tonnes (113.4%), transit traffic - 46.3 million tonnes (106.6%).

Alexander Yevsiuk noted, cargoes transported to Belarus from Russia accounted for 65% of the total inflow, from Ukraine - 22%, Lithuania - 2%, Latvia - 1%. Belarus shipped most cargoes to Latvia (44.1%), Lithuania (16%), Russia (14%), and Ukraine (12%).

Belarusian Railways accounts for around 75% of Belarus cargo transportation and over 50% of passenger transportation. The length of railroads of Belarusian Railways exceeds 5,500 kilometres.