High speed rail tracks
© Jacques Kloppers

Russian Railways plans to significantly reduce transit times between Japan and Europe to generate increased volumes out of the east Asian nation.  

Westbound container traffic out of Japan increased by almost 11% last year and with transit times already down to 19 days, the carrier is looking to make further reductions, with a target of 11 to 14 days 

Russian Railways general director Oleg Belozyorov said: “We’re offering new services and features and, in order to attract Japanese shippers, we are shortening the delivery time.” 

Working alongside Japan’s ministry of transport, the carrier has initiated pilot services showcasing reduced processing times, with the first test launching yesterday, bound for Vladivostok from Poland.  

The pilot uses new electronic unified document-processing for sea and rail transport, which it claims cuts paperwork processing at ports by up to four days. 

Mr Belozyorov said: “We call this Project Intertran, and it will be replicated; today, 5 September, we are also sending a container from the port of Toyama.” 

Alongside the tests, new terminal infrastructure is being developed in Leningrad, Ussuriysk with assistance from the Japanese ministry.  

Barely a month has gone by over the past year without news of improved offerings from the Russian carrier, and this expansion comes just four months on from a new expedited Japan-Russia service.  

Less than a fortnight ago, Russian Railways announced a new route between China and Germany, with a connection from Yantai to Duisburg.  

Sales director at logistics arm RZD, Olga Stepanova, said: “We try to find solutions that will meet the needs of our customers.” 

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