Nipon Express signs Kazakhstan rail MoU

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Nippon Express has signed an MoU with Kazakhstan’s railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) to develop container traffic from China, Japan and South Korea to Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

KTZ vice president for Development Arman Sultanov said his company could provide transshipment, processing and handling at the inland dry port of Khorgos-Eastern Gates to reduce transit times between Asia and Europe.

In May the national railway signed an investment agreement with COSCO Shipping Corporation and China’s Lianyungang port for the joint development of the Khorgos-Eastern Gate Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

The port of Lianyungang is China’s largest ocean port with a handling capacity of more than 200 million tonnes and five million containers per year.

Chinese investors are acquiring 49 percent of Kazakhstan’s inland port to create a large regional hub for the consolidation and distribution of cargo flows between Asia and Europe.

KTZ said the Khorgos-Eastern Gate SEZ would become part of COSCO Shipping logistics services and ensure the integration of Kazakhstan’s transit corridors into its logistics network.

In June DP World signed an MoU with Kazakhstan’s government to develop a Port Community System (PCS) and to integrate Customs processes throughout the country. PCS is a one-stop electronic platform developed by DP World subsidiary Dubai Trade that enables the exchange of multimodal data.

KTZ and DP World are to set up a joint venture to implement and manage the PCS system with the aim of automating multimodal logistics processes into a single ‘Eurasian Transcontinental Corridor’.

DP World chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem commented: “Kazakhstan has tremendous potential and its leadership is working hard for its people – putting in place the right policies and procedures. It is at the crossroads of Asia and, although landlocked, president Nazarbayev’s commitment to improve internal and external connectivity to avoid the ‘transportation trap’ will propel growth.”

The company said it is also providing advisory services under a separate contract with KTZ for the development of the Khorgos SEZ and Inland Container Depot.

Pictured (left to right): Kazakhstan Railway vice president Arman Sultanov and Nippon Express chairman Sugiyama Tatsuo.

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