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How to increase the transit of containers through the Russian Far East - EastRussia | Analytics of the East of Russia






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And a few decades

EastRussia assesses the chances of the Far East to containerize the level of a major Chinese port

Russia's possibilities for transcontinental transshipment of container cargoes are so microscopic in comparison with China that even the regime of the free port of Vladivostok (SPV) will not change much in the coming years, experts believe, interviewed by EastRussia. But under certain conditions, including modernization of the Transsib, the SST will still be able to cause a significant increase in Chinese transit through the ports in the south of Primorye, they believe.

And a few decades
With the end of the first international one-way-one-way forum in Beijing, at which Russia was invited by China among other countries to participate in the construction of the global project "Economic belt of the Silk Road" (ESMP) to create a network of transcontinental transport corridors between Asia and Europe And Africa, fears of skeptics have not gone away. Their position remains the same: the dwarfish economy, compared with the Chinese one, will be absorbed by the eastern neighbor, which will triumphantly affirm its influence in the post-Soviet space and deprive Russia of the status of the land bridge between Europe and Asia. Say, ESPP will become a mainland analogue of China's logistics superiority at sea.

Today, as is known, 95-97% of all container shipments from Southeast Asia to Europe, Middle East and Africa are passing through Chinese ports. For comparison, in 2016, the container turnover of one port of Shanghai amounted to 37,13 million TEU, Hong Kong - about 22 million TEU. For the same period, all of the combined Russian ports handled only 3,99 million TEU, out of which 1,19 million TEU accounted for the share of Far Eastern ports. Is it worthwhile in this huge imbalance to stake in container logistics on the regime of the free port of Vladivostok, which, for the time being, attracts mainly investors who are not focused on container but on raw materials? Worth - experts believe. But under certain conditions.

In the opinion of Anna Bardal, head of the economic theory and special disciplines of the Institute of Economic Research of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, it is still difficult to predict the guaranteed growth in container turnover through the sea ports of the Far East in the short term: "International Transport Corridors (MTC)" Primorye-1 "and" Primorye-2 " , Respectively, the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin of China with the ports of the Primorye Territory, are designed to provide, basically, transit cargo traffic between Asia and Europe through the territory of the Russian Federation. Containers arrive in seaside ports by rail. For the period from 2011-2015 This transit container flow increased by 29,9% and amounted to 217 thousand TEU. But with the development of alternative routes of the PRC in the direction of the EU, bypassing the territory of the Russian Federation, transit traffic through Primorye can be reduced. To maintain this direction, it is necessary to improve the state of the transport infrastructure (roads, port facilities, checkpoints on the state border) from the Russian side. "

Anna Bardal considers it possible, in principle, to form an export container freight traffic for the ports of the Far East at the expense of goods whose production will be concentrated within the framework of the SST regime. But today, according to her observation, there are no registered production of high-tech products of export orientation among the residents of the SPV. In addition, there are still such negative factors, the expert notes, as: "the failed projects to create special economic zones in the Far East (which foreign partners witnessed), the lack of general stability in tariff and institutional conditions, the presence of traditional routes of transportation, the presence of bureaucratic difficulties ( Long procedures for the processing of documents in the SPV, the timing of the mandatory registration stages, etc.) ".

Another researcher at the Institute for Economic Research, Elena Zaostrovsky, believes that in the next five to ten years, the gap in the container traffic with Chinese ports in Russian ports in the Far East will not be significantly reduced. Partly due to the initial immaturity of the free port project itself: “Spraying the PWV regime to five regions of the Far East cannot bring a positive result, just as the fact that the government shifts the infrastructure financing pRT load to private investors, this contradicts the general principle of the regime formation” Free port. The problem of handling transit goods is solved by introducing an electronic declaration system, but extremely slowly. The tariffs for the transportation of transit containers have not been reduced yet), there are no distribution centers, and the work of sea and rail transport is practically not coordinated. ”

"In fact, the Far Eastern ports are an infrastructure annex to the Trans-Siberian Railway. But the same to the Chinese today is not particularly interesting our Transsib due to its meager transshipment capacity - only 250 thousand TEU per year. China's needs are at least 500 thousand TEU per year, "says Sergei Sazonov, a senior researcher at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. - For this, it is necessary to modernize the railway, built in the beginning of the century before last. Will the Chinese invest in it? I doubt. This is entirely our inner concern. China, in addition to the main sea corridor along the southern part of Eurasia, is actively seeking alternative land routes bypassing Russia, through the countries of Central Asia and Transcaucasia. "

Nevertheless, Mr. Sazonov sees good prospects for the "Primorje-2" ITC, which connects the Chinese province of Jilin with the ports of Slavyanka, Zarubino and Posiet in the south of the Primorsky Territory: "I would single out Zarubino from this trio," the Oriental scholar points out. The southernmost (it does not freeze throughout the year) port of the Far East, on the basis of which the group "Sum" Ziyavudin Magomedov is going to implement the project "The Big Port of Zarubino" with the attraction of foreign investments. The port is located at the junction of the borders of the three states ─ Russia, North Korea and China, has road and rail access roads that extend to the main roads of the Russian Federation and transship a wide range of goods. And the Chinese are interested in its development (and the transport infrastructure adjacent to it): it is directly connected with the city of Hunchun in Jilin Province, where a large logistics terminal is located. Hence the flow of cargo is distributed to other regions of China, as well as Japan, North Korea, South Korea and the United States. With the help of the port of Zarubino entering the area of ​​operation of the SPS, it is possible to increase the volume of Chinese and other cargo through the Transsib to Europe to 400-500 thousand TEU per year (above the level in the times of the Soviet Union). This is able to significantly supplement the budget of Primorsky Krai and improve the socio-economic situation here. "

A similar opinion is shared by Leonid Khazanov, the chief expert of the research group InfoMine. He admits that the transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" can help improve the situation with container traffic through the Far Eastern ports: "Primorye-1" allows to shorten the route of cargo delivery to 800 km, thus giving carriers a gain in time . Thanks to it, it will be convenient to deliver container cargo from China to Russia, Japan, South Korea and the USA. The same can be said about "Primorye-2". As for Vladivostok's free port, it can certainly affect the dynamics and structure of logistical flows (it should be taken into account that it is also called upon to contribute to the creation of various industries in the Far East). But without an optimal tariff policy for rail transportation, modernization of railways and highways, without the development of ports themselves, tax and customs preferences in the free port of Vladivostok may not be very effective.

At the same time, Leonid Khazanov is sure that coal will remain one of the key cargoes in the structure of the Far East ports' turnover in the coming years: "This is due to two factors: firstly, the location of large coal mining centers beyond the Urals; secondly, the dominance of the structure Export of coal from Asian countries, and primarily China and Japan, whose energy and industry are highly dependent on external supplies. "

The head of logistics department of LLC "BP Logistic" Aleksey Dolmatov believes that "the weak infrastructure of the ports of the Far East is a deterrent in the development of the entire region as a whole." "The free port mechanism will create a regional platform for further integration of Russia into the Asia-Pacific, which will entail the growth and development of long-port ports." In the macro-region, there is a certain trend - the development of commodity export terminals, but there is also a modernization of the existing infrastructure and construction of a new infrastructure for transshipment of liquid, container The preferential and preferential regimes have already attracted dozens of investors to the region and caused the growth of the region's GDP, I think, while maintaining the existing tempo times The Far East will reach a third of the turnover of Chinese ports in 10 years, of course, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to apply a systematic approach and act in the context of the overall concept of the Far East development program, "he said.

The public figure and economist Sergei Fokin connects the future of Russia in the container transportation market with polar latitudes: "Transit from China to Europe did not pass Russia (and Kazakhstan), but bypassed the Russian Far East. The land route: Lianyungang-Zhengzhou-Lanzhou-Urumqi-Alma-Ata-Kyzylorda-Aaktobe-Orenburg-Kazan-Nizhny Novgorod-Moscow-Saint Petersburg, with further access to the Baltic Sea. This route is difficult to change to a more cardinal by land. But the Far East can become a powerful component of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). To this end, it is necessary to create a new icebreaker fleet and ships of the ice class in a short time, to ensure regular posting of caravans of ships along the Arctic Ocean (this is possible, for example, if to organize counter passages of ships: one hundred vessels one and one hundred to another - Navigation terms for several months). The advantage of Russia, especially in the Far East - in deep-water bays and deep-sea ports. It allows the construction of large-capacity vessels of the ice class. In addition, Russia can offer a wide use of composite materials for shipbuilding: a petrochemical production created by Rosneft near the port of Nakhodka will be able to supply polymers and other products to the Far East enterprise. "

Aleksey Chekunkov, General Director of the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund (FRDV), believes that the backwardness of Russian logistics in general and the Far East in particular will be able to eliminate only breakthrough transport technologies in a relatively short time: "Russia is a gigantic country with a low population density, and in The basis of our transport infrastructure remains the technology of the XIX century - railways and internal combustion engine. The development of logistics of the 21st century with the use of information and unmanned technologies, as well as new sources of traffic (LNG, electricity, trains on a magnetic cushion) should be a national priority. Russia itself will decide on technological solutions and routes that are beneficial for domestic transportation and take into account the trans-Eurasian routes, and will offer China joint investments in detailed projects. " According to the head of the FRDF, the first $ 10 billion for launching pilot projects should be invested from domestic Russian sources, and another $ 100 billion (for the deployment of the transport network) - attracted with the help of newly created China with the participation of Russia of new international financial institutions: the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments , The New Development Bank ("BRICS Bank") and the Silk Road Fund.
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