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Major Logistics Concerns: the INSTC’s Development Is Discussed at TransRussia Congress

On April, 17-19, the TransRussia 2023 international transport and logistics exhibition and congress was held in Moscow. During the event, Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC Sergey Milushkin presented the Port Special Economic Zone of the Caspian Cluster, announced proposals on the INSTC development and signed several agreements on cooperation with Russian and Iranian partners.

TransRussia Exhibition has already been held for the 27th time. The list of participants comprises the leading Russian and foreign freight operators, the representatives of the port industry, customs services, insurance and other companies from 22 countries.

TransRussia Transport and Logistics Congress was held as a part of the exhibition. The participants discussed the crucial issues in logistics, freight transportation and related industries.

Sergey Milushkin, Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC, spoke at the discussion panel «North-South: Seamless Technologies, Maritime Logistics and the Development of Multimodality». The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Russian Federation Kazem Jalali opened the event and delivered a welcoming speech. The participants, including the Indian and Iranian companies, discussed the prospects of the logistics projects and services development related to the INSTC functioning and the opportunities for cargo transportation through the Corridor.

According to JSC RZD, the volume of the international cargo transportation by rail has reached 141.7 million tons and the INSTC cargo flow has increased by 62% in general. The Corridor’s carrying capacity is estimated to reach 20 million tons by 2030. However, speaking about the development of the INSTC’s cargo turnover, Sergey Milushkin emphasized that we cannot rely on just one mode of transportation.

— We definitely need to develop railways, but we always say that the Caspian Sea is the direct border between Russia and Iran without any intermediate countries. For instance, about 480 million tons of cargo were transported in Iran in 2019, of which 450 million tons were delivered by road and only 30 million tons by rail. The Bandar Abbas Seaport handles 100 million tons of cargo: 7 million tons are transported to and from the port by rail, the rest by road. The price for gasoline and diesel in Iran is 5 to 10 rubles per 1 liter. On that basis and with that fuel tax, the railroads can hardly compete with the magnificent highways, for example, in container delivery, — he said.

An extensive work is being done in this direction right now. Thus, PLC Caspiy LLC, a tenant of the Port Special Economic Zone of the Caspian Cluster, in cooperation with Iranian partners, has established a transportation company to provide cargo transit by road in Iran. The sufficient number of ships are being formed to create a shipping line for cargo delivery between Russia and Iran, as well as new container carriers are being constructed on the territory of Special Economic Zone Lotus using the capacities of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

The first phase — the 8th and 9th berths of the Olya Seaport is currently being arranged in the Port Special Economic Zone in the Astrakhan Region. The container, grain and oil terminals will be constructed here. Its capacity will be about 3 million tons. After that, the construction of the second phase of the Port SEZ development near Zaburunny Ilmen will be launched. The total capacity of the new facilities will be about 8 to 10 million tons with the possibility of further expansion to 20 million tons.

In addition to the participation in the business program, the head staff of SEZ Lotus JSC held negotiations with the Russian and Iranian partners, including the major Iranian shipping company IRISL, Iranian National Transportation Development Fund, etc.

As a result of participation in the Forum events, Director General of SEZ Lotus JSC and the head staff of PLC Caspiy LLC signed four cooperation agreements to develop cargo transportation via the INSTC and implement investment projects in the Port SEZ:

• with Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill JSC and with CJSC Sawmill 25 to establish the enterprises products delivery using the Port SEZ capacities;

• with the Iranian Golden Line Shipping Co to implement an investment project within the Port SEZ;

• with the Russian company FinInvest LLC to work out the creation of a transport and logistics center in the Port SEZ.

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