The volume of cargo traveling through Kazakhstan grew by 54% y/y to 450,200 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) in the first half of 2020, state-run railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy's (KTZ's) press service reported.
Much of the increase possibly accounts for delayed positive impacts of both China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Kazakhstan’s drive to rely on the initiative to diversify its economy away from reliance on oil exports. The BRI envisages Kazakhstan as a transit zone for Chinese goods heading to Europe and vice versa. BRI projects are mainly directed at building logistics centres, transit hubs, roads and railway links. Despite Kazakhstan temporarily temporarily banning imports of some Chinese goods due to the coronavirus pandemic and locking down its borders during the two-month state of emergency, the transit of goods to and from China appears to have continued mostly uninterrupted.
Much of the rise accounts for container freight transportation. In June alone, 105,000 TEU were transported via Kazakhstan, up 50% y/y from June 2019, KTZ said in the statement.
KTZ plans to further reduce administrative barriers, modernise infrastructure, shorten delivery times and optimise logistical processes at Dostyk and Altynkol stations, the company said. Dostyk and Altynkol for transit cargo travelling to China.