A subsidiary of Estonian logistics company GTS Express has signed a cooperation agreement with a Chinese railway company. According to err.ee, this June, the Estonian port of Muuga will start receiving two trains a week from Xian, Shaanxi province.
The document was signed in Xian by GTS Rail of Estonia and Xian International Inland Port Multimodal Transportation Co. Ltd. of China. It says that development of railway services will foster commodity turnover between China and Estonia and China and the European Union. The deal is part of the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese are ready to provide subsidies for a route to Estonia. For the moment, there are four railroads from Xian – to Hungary, Germany, Poland and Finland. Estonia will be the fifth on this list.
The first train from Xian is supposed to arrive in Muuga in June 2018. At the initial stage, the port is supposed to receive two trains a week. The agreement was signed during the last visit of Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia Viljar Lubi and a delegation of Estonian businessmen to China. The objective of the visit was to discuss a plan of actions to implement the last year’s Estonian-Chinese agreement to develop cooperation in electronic trade and information and communication technologies.
A few days ago, Lietuvos gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), together with Latvian and Estonian colleagues, tested a new container train, Amber Train. The company’s CEO Mantas Bartuška said that the test of an excellent example of efficient cooperation among the railway companies of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It took the 43-container train just one day to go from the Polish village of Trakiszki via Lithuania and Latvia to the Estonian port of Paldiski. In each of the countries, the train was operated by local companies.
According to CEO of EVR Cargo of Estonia Raul Toomsalu, this line is a joint project to enlarge cargo traffic in the Baltics. “This type of cargo transportation saves both time and money. Besides, railway services have smaller impacts on the environment than highway services have, they produce less noise and are safer,” Toomsalu said.
The owner of the cargo was Forwardis, a subsidiary of SNCF Logistics Group. During the trip, the designers of Amber Train tested its technologies, time plan, speed and the efficiency of exchange of information among the operators. The results of the test will help the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian operators to be more efficient in future. The project involves Latvijas Dzelzceļš of Latvia and its subsidiaries LDz Cargo and LDz Logistika, Lietuvos Geležinkeliai of Lithuania and EVR Cargo of Estonia.