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Navigating New Routes: Silk Road Train Volumes Adjust Amid Geopolitical Shifts

Navigating New Routes: Silk Road Train Volumes Adjust Amid Geopolitical Shifts
foto: METRANS/Navigating New Routes: Silk Road Train Volumes Adjust Amid Geopolitical Shifts
12 / 10 / 2023

Despite historically serving as a significant European border crossing for Silk Road trains, Małaszewicze has recently witnessed a drastic dip in its operational figures.

According to the Polish Road Transport Institute, Westbound volumes have decreased by 24.3%, tallying at 57,180 TEU in H1 2023. This downward trend is even more pronounced for Eastbound volumes, which plummeted by 91%, leaving a meager 824 TEU headed for China within the first half of this year. To put things into perspective, the first half of the year saw a decline of approximately 8,000 TEU in Westbound volumes compared to the previous year.

Delving deeper into the root causes reveals a shifting geopolitical landscape affecting logistics and trade routes. Notably, recent disruptions, including the Russian war in Ukraine and the associated sanctions on Russia, are influencing the trajectories of these rail giants. China Railways, reacting to this new paradigm, is emphasizing routes concluding in major cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astana, and Atkau, covering Russia's and Kazakhstan's vast expanses. To corroborate this, insights from Chinese forwarders indicate that a substantial 80% of their outbound international freight trains are now channeled toward Russia.

Amid these transportation evolutions, the European Silk Road Summit 2023 is poised to offer a platform for vital dialogues. Scheduled from November 29th to December 1st in Budapest, Hungary, this 7th edition of the summit promises to spotlight Poland's recalibrated role within the Silk Road framework and foster discussions about the broader implications for European trade and connectivity.

Tagy