Astara terminal selects agent for Russia, Iran and Iraq cargo
Astara Transit Terminal, a main gateway border facility connecting Europe, Russia and CIS countries by rail on the Azerbaijan-Iranian border, has appointed Moscow-based freight group Prodvijeniye as general agent for freight and project cargo moving between Russia, Iran and Iraq via the border crossing.
Goods shipped by Prodvijeniye will arrive at the Astara terminal by rail and be transshipped to trailers for onward delivery in the two countries. The company will also handle freight and project cargo imported into Russia from Iran and Iraq through the terminal, where goods brought by road will be loaded onto rail wagons for shipment to destinations throughout Russia and the CIS. Goods destined for movement over Russia for markets such as the EU and Scandinavian countries will also be managed by Prodvijeniye.
Astara Transit Terminal was redeveloped in 2006 and can handle all types of cargo, including breakbulk, 20-foot and 40-foot containers (including heavy lift) and out-of-gauge cargoes up to 120 tons, within the rail-loading gauge.
'Cargo moving through Astara Transit Terminal avoids the need to be sent either by sea to the Iranian Gulf ports or by road via Turkey. Other alternatives avoided are by rail via Russia to the Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan and then by conventional shipping to the Iranian port of Bandar Anzali or, during May to October only, the Volga River,” said Jawad Kamel, Astara Transit Terminal president and chief executive officer.
Another option for Iranian shippers is a longer rail route from Russia to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the Iranian border where transshipment can be made from Russian broad gauge to Iranian standard gauge rail wagons.
'For shippers in Iran, these alternatives are either more costly or not as efficient at a time when they are crying out for more freight capacity on routes to and from Europe. The Astara Transit Terminal cements the return of a vital Central Asian transport artery giving shippers faster transit times, as well as more direct and secure service,' Kamel said.