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ITE Transport and Logistics

Russian infrastructure construction update

As the world’s largest country, with an area greater than Pluto, Russia needs strong infrastructure and transport links. How else can you ensure a nation with over 17 million square kilometres of space is kept fuelled, fed and content? The answer lies in a far-reaching programme of infrastructure development.

The government is pumping vast amounts of cash into upgrading Russia’s existing ports, railways and roads, or building new sites. By 2030, it is estimated Russia will have spent a monumental $969 billion on infrastructure projects. Over 325 such developments are in the pipeline, helping provide a stronger environment for transport and logistics.

Russia plans far reaching railway upgrades

In 2017, Russian Railways (RZA), Russia’s national rail operator, plans to take supply of roughly one million tons of new track. This goes to show the titanic scale of Russia’s rail construction ambitions. By 2030, some $464.2 billion will have been pumped into building fresh railways or existing facility enhancement. 

One of Russia’s trade-orientated rail projects is linked to the ongoing North-South Transport Corridor development. This multi-modal route will connect St. Petersburg to India via Azerbaijan and Iran. The corridor ignores the Suez Canal, trimming transit times considerably. So far, RZA has invested over $50 million in the project, resulting in over 200 kilometre of fresh track in Russia’s Caspian Sea region.

This is small compared with the massive sums being pumped into the Kazan-Moscow high-speed rail route. The 770 kilometre line is expected to cost in the region of $22 billion. When the route starts operations in 2020, it is expected to become a major freight and passenger line as it passes through the cities of Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod and Cheboksary. The Kazan-Moscow route will also form the first section of an ambitious, continent-straddling high-speed route linking Beijing in China with Moscow – a distance in excess of 7,000 kilometres.

Fresh wave of Russian ports incoming

Russia relies on maritime trade for much of its grain and crude oil exports, as well as imports of key consumer goods. Its importance is such that a spate of new facilities, maritime logistics centres and port expansion activity is happening throughout the country.
Vladivostok, Russia’s chief Pacific port, is set to enjoy a new logistics centre. The port is already a free trade zone, encouraging cargo traffic, so this new site will provide further storage and freight handling space for Vladivostok. The site will cover an area of 6.7 hectares and is expected to begin operations in 2019. 

The Krasnodar region borders the Black Sea and is an important area for the Russian grain trade. From here, Russia sends millions of tons of wheat and other grains overseas. It is replete with ports, but as Russia is stepping up its global grain exports, expansion is needed at some key sites. 

The port of Taman is due to enjoy a $258 million upgrade regime, it was announced in March 2017. Slated for inclusion at Taman are a new bulk cargo terminal, a grain terminal and a mooring complex for LNG carriers. It is hoped the port’s freight capacity will reach 35 million tons.

Arkhangelsk in North-West Russia is to see construction of a new deep-water port, with first cargoes passing through there by 2025. Planned for year-round operation, involving the deployment of icebreakers in the winter, Archangelsk’s newest port facility will be able to handle 30 million tons of freight annually and act as alternative route for cargo flows to and from Europe, North America and China.

Road construction sees big investment

Roads are something of a priority for Russia. Due to its sheer size, the nation needs rugged highways and roads to keep people and goods flowing freely. Over $548 billion has been allocated towards for construction of roads in rural areas, whereas Moscow’s ring road is looking at $1.5 billion in reconstruction investment.

Over 1,000 kilometres of new roads are planned for 2020. 36 individual construction projects, featuring new bridges, are to be implemented before 2030 too, suggesting Russia’s road network will be greatly expanded making road transport an easier, cheaper prospect.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is looming large over Russian roads, meaning the rush to complete the M11 Moscow-Saint Petersburg motorway is heating up. Sergey Kalbach, the Board Director of Avatador, Russia’s state-owned highway authority, is confident the 669 kilometre road will be complete before the tournament begins in June 2018.

The Rostov region will also enjoy a new highway. This mega-motorway is planned to connect Rostov-on-Don to Moscow, Voronezh, Krasnodar and the port city of Novorossiysk. The route, which will improve road freight from the Black Sea to Russia’s capital and beyond, is expected to enter use by 2020.

Russia’s infrastructure spending paves the way for smoother transport & logistics operations

With billions in funding planned for Russia’s infrastructure sector over the next fifteen years, the nation’s transport logistics sector is sure to benefit greatly. It will be easier for cargo to enter, travel round, and exit Russia, meaning a greater level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness is on the horizon.


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