Enhancing Rail Transport Cooperation between Kazakshstan and Finland

Container train traffic between Kouvola and Xi’an has for around a year been managed and operated jointly by Kazakhstan railways, KTZ Express, Kouvola Innovation Oy, Unytrade Oy, and Kouvola Cargo Handling Oy.  

The cooperation has been very successful and operations have become established so that at the present time, there is one container train from Kouvola to Xi’an and one from Xi’an to Kouvola every week.

The importance of rail transport cooperation is emphasised by the participation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, at the event in which the contract on enhancing cooperation was signed.

In the contract signed on 16 October 2018 in Helsinki, Kazakhstan railways KTZ Express, Kouvola Innovation Oy and Unytrade Oy form a cooperation group that promotes the goods transport between Kazakhstan and the Nordic countries by rail. The aim of the parties is to enhance their cooperation and to jointly develop rail transport between Kazakhstan and Finland. Rail transport cooperation is also enhanced with other Nordic countries, first by extending operations to Haparanda and the Port of Narvik, both of which participate in developing connections to China and Kazakhstan. In addition, the parties intend to continue to develop the routes between China and the EU.

The aim is to increase the volume of rail transport between the above countries. The parties commit to market and promote the development of the transport in their respective countries, as well as to represent the others in their countries.

The first joint train of sawn timber operators from Kouvola to Xi’an on 17 October 2018

The first joint train of several sawn timber operators will leave from Kouvola to Xi’an in China on Wednesday 17 October 2018. The train includes a total of 41 40’ containers that contain sawn timber from several sawmill operators. The train is roughly 800 metres long.

The joint train of the sawn timber operators enables the participation of smaller sawmills with no previous experience in train transportation in the Kouvola-Xi’an train route. Some of the containers were loaded at the sawmills, while others were loaded in Kouvola by Kouvola Cargo Handling. For further information: Ms Anu Kujansuu, Marketing Director, Kouvola Cargo Handling Oy, tel. +358 40 554 1183 anu.kujansuu@cargohandling.fi

The travel time of the train from Kouvola to Xi’an is 14 days and the route of the train is Kouvola (FI) - Kanizay (RU) - Dostyk (KZ)/Alashankou (CN) - Xi'an (CN). Xi’an, the destination of the train, is optimal for several customers of the sawmill industry that are located in inland China. Sawn timber can also be stored in the free zone in Xi’an without customs clearance. There is demand in the sawmill industry for a fast container train: the following sawn timber trains have already been scheduled to leave from Kouvola in November and December.