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Ussuriisk dries up as a port
Why do railway workers need Japanese partners in the logistics development of Primorye?
Russian Railways and the Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Sojitz Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding, which implies the development of a terminal and logistics infrastructure in Ussuriysk. EastRussia figured out what prospects this cooperation might have.
“Japanese shippers are promising customers for the railway. And a prerequisite in order to pick up their cargo, and in the future, and other neighbors in the APR, becomes a close partnership of all participants in the logistics market. The main areas of consolidation of the cargo base and, as a result, the formation of freight transport and logistics centers (TLC) are ports and “dry” terminals located in major cities of the Far Eastern region, ”said Nikolai Maklygin, head of the Far Eastern Railway.
The idea of creating a TLC in Primorye, which would work on the principle of a “dry” port, processing additional cargo flows, is not new. At the end of 1990, a project was launched to build a large logistics center in the village of Novy, which is located almost 40 km from the seaside capital, not far from the federal highway Khabarovsk - Vladivostok and Transsib. It received the name South Primorsky terminal. In addition to warehouses, loading and unloading areas, etc. the construction of a sorting station was planned; the processing capacity of 22,6 mln tons per year, which was to concentrate a significant part of the railway work of the Vladivostok transport hub, became the center for the formation of main route trains.
However, this project did not go. Later, representatives of the Far Eastern Railways put forward the idea to organize a transport and logistics center in Ussuriysk, where there is already a nodal sorting station serving cargo traffic in the direction of the ports of Vladivostok, Nakhodka (Vostochny) and Khasansky District: Slavyanka, Posieta, Zarubino. The main principle of the TLC, the railroad workers explained, is in the accumulation of cargo shipments for export, which will allow the vessel-ship operation to be carried out without unloading onto the pier. Also there will be formed the routes of import and transit cargo. All this will ultimately affect the reduction of delivery times.
At the same time, cargo passing through land border crossings, primarily Grodekovo-Suifenhe, which is part of the Primorye-1 international transport terminal, also follows through Ussuriysk. This year, a number of meetings of Russian Railways specialists with cargo owners, representatives of government circles and railway administrations of China took place, as a result of which measures were developed to develop transit traffic here. In particular, according to the Chinese side, the MTC Primorye-1 has the potential only to transport corn to the amount of up to 6 million tons per year.
The advantageous location of Ussuriysk already attracts private investors to create transport and logistics facilities. Recently, PhosAgro opened a warehouse complex in the city for working with mineral fertilizers. A larger project is being implemented by the company Slavtrans-Service, which last year in the Ussuriysk area reserved a land plot in 100 ha, bought the access railway tracks. A “dry” port of agro-industrial orientation should appear on this site. “It is planned to create not just a wholesale distribution center, but a hub with the ability to provide agro-industrial park services for processors (agricultural products - EastRussia), focused primarily on the Chinese market, with the possibility of land export via Primorye-1,” said at the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Slavtrans-Service JSC, Andrei Dutchtsev.
According to him, part of the TLC is built up with technological objects, and train routes with both universal and refrigerated containers are already arriving here (storage capacities are designed today for one-time storage of 5 thousand TEU). Currently, the second phase of the project is being formed. Businessmen from the PRC will be able to work on the territory of the agro-industrial hub, according to Andrei Hollandsev, they can produce products from Russian raw materials here and make further deliveries "without additional logistic friction." At the same time, from Ussuriisk to the border with China - approximately 120 km.
In turn, Japanese cargo owners may also be interested in the shortest access to the railway network of the PRC to ensure transit in the East-West direction. This year, a series of test container shipments are organized on the Trans-Siberian Railway, organized by Mitsubishi Corp., Azuma Shipping, Nisshin, Toyo Trans, Nippon Express, Hitachi Kenki Logitech. Delivery of cargo with the participation of Chinese railways could partly reduce this transport arm and then exit onto the Trans-Siberian Railway through the Manchuria-Zabaikalsk border crossing or expand the geography of traffic with the countries of Central Asia (in particular, China and Kazakhstan are linked by the Dostyk railway checkpoint).
At the same time, on the Russian side, the Grodekovo-Suifenhe transition almost reached the maximum loading parameters. At present, a feasibility study of the development of this direction is being prepared, which will affect the stations of Grodekovo, Grodekovo-2, Pine Crus, Loose Pad. The plan includes the reconstruction of receiving-departure, exhibition tracks with the extension of their useful length to a capacity of at least 71 conditional car. When modernizing the stations of the Grodekovsky junction, the railway will eliminate losses associated with the processing of trains to reduce their length (today, in essence, the train has to be divided into two). However, the development of separate points is only part of the issue; the border line itself, built at the turn of the 19 and 20 centuries, requires attention. It is characterized by complex terrain, has slopes and curves of small radius. To carry on it longer, and as a result, heavier trains may require significant investments, experts say.
Recall, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev had previously advocated the need to include the modernization of the railway infrastructure related to the MTC Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 in the program of the second stage of development of the Eastern Polygon.