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Turkmenistan – development of transport and logistic potential

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Turkmenistan demonstrates new effective achievements in all spheres of its development, economic indicators demonstrate that Turkmenistan has taken a worthy place among the leading states of the world, according to the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Romania.

The economic strategy of the country is aimed at consistently raising the level of its macroeconomic indicators, the volume of its industrial production, ensuring the stability of the domestic market, modernizing the infrastructure of the main areas of the national economy, increasing technical support, and along with this, establishing economic stability in the world economy, and bringing international cooperation to new levels. Building up mutually beneficial cooperation in the transport sector was identified as one of the main directions for the development of the world economy. The widespread use of intermodal and multimodal transports in the framework of modern economic development requires the creation of logistics centers and companies of various forms of ownership. In this aspect, effective work in building up the transport and logistics infrastructure is also carried out by Turkmenistan, it pays special attention to improving the activities of the logistics industry and modernizing the structure of its logistics.

Turkmenistan plays the role of a transcontinental economic bridge connecting the economic systems of the European, Asia-Pacific and South Asian regions. Therefore, as an important task in this direction, the further expansion of the national structure that unites the transport corridors at the East-West and North-South intersections was identified. Turkmenistan forms on its territory one of the important transport centers of the continent, relying on the sustainable economic and social development of the country, increasing the competitiveness of domestic goods and services in world markets.

The favorable geographical location of Turkmenistan at the crossroads of the main continental corridors, gives the country the opportunity to ensure Eurasian relations. Promoting this concept, Esteemed President of Turkmenistan emphasizes that the formation of a modern system of transport and communications is one of the strategic directions of the state policy of Turkmenistan. This policy is aimed at the socio-economic development of the country and the establishment of broad regional and international cooperation aimed at the general well-being.

The transport system of Turkmenistan has a large reserve of production potential, which allows it to provide the growing volumes of cargo and passenger traffic, including transit routes passing through the territory of the country. The transport and transit systems are harmoniously included in the geopolitical goals of the state. This geopolitical goal sets itself a specific strategic task of strengthening economic principles in the world that is developing at a modern pace.

As a result of the implementation of the creative, peace-loving policy, Neutral Turkmenistan systematically comes up with specific initiatives. These initiatives are gaining universal recognition and serve to strengthen regional and international friendly ties and effective cooperation. In resolving these issues, Turkmenistan proceeds, first of all, from the advantages of its rapidly developing transit and transport corridor, including sea and river transport in building up economic opportunities not only for the countries of the region, but also in a broader continental sense.

The transport and logistics policy pursued by the country at the present stage has received recognition in the world. International railways, sea, river-sea, motor roads are being built and put into operation, as well as new corridors are being created. The functioning of multimodal logistics centers becomes an impetus for the rapid development of the national economy. In recent years, systemic targeted transformations have been carried out in the transport and logistics sector of the country. On the basis of the resolution of the Esteemed President of Turkmenistan dated July 13, 2018, the Open Joint-Stock Company „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” was established. JSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” performs tasks such as improving the efficiency of international transit traffic through the territory of Turkmenistan, increasing the competitiveness of the country’s transport industry, assisting in increasing the volume of transit cargo, as well as developing logistics solutions for the delivery of transit, import-export cargo from the consignor to the consignee by one or more modes of transport (provision of multimodal services).

The main goal of the JSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” is to provide transportation of goods with high-quality, international standards, transport services that meet the needs of the state, enterprises and the population. The center carries out such types of work as forwarding services, contract logistics, multimodal transportation, handling of rolling stock, handling and storage of goods, customs clearance, insurance. Ministries, sectoral departments, legal entities and individuals fulfill state orders for transit, import-export cargo transportation through the conclusion of contracts.

The companies from several transit points of our country, such as the Turkmenbashi International Sea Port, the International Airport and the junction points of the International Railway Corridors, carries out multimodal cargo transportation and offers the services. JSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” cooperates with private enterprises and business entities of the People’s Republic of China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkiye, Georgia and other states. The presence of Turkmen partners in their ranks is encouraging. Since it can be seen that the transport and transit capabilities of the country are expanding more and more, and its role in the international system of multimodal corridors is growing stronger.

At the Etrek station, there is a warehouse controlled by our JSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” for storing goods, carrying out loading and unloading operations and re-export services. In addition, warehouses in Serakhs, Zerger, Turkmenbashi and Takhiatash provide local and foreign partners with services such as storage, loading and unloading of goods.

In the transportation of goods over a long intercontinental distance, not only sea, but also land transport is used. Thus, different modes of transport form a „transport chain”. Foreign partners attach great importance to the transit capabilities of the transport system of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan’s reliable partner in this area is the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan. OJSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” renders great assistance to the multi-profile development of the railway system of our country.

On October 24, 2019, the Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan OJSC from Turkmenistan sent the first container train to China with a cargo of Potash fertilizers from the Garlyk Mining and Processing Complex in transit through the territory of Kazakhstan. The length of the route was 9,688 kilometers, of which Kelif-Serkhetyaka exp. 1,654 kilometers, through the territory of Kazakhstan Bolashak exp. – Altynkol exp. 3,450 kilometers and on the territory of China Khorgos – Qingdao 4,584 kilometers. The cargo was delivered to the final destination (Qingdao port) in 15 days, which is 3-4 times faster compared to the sea route at a competitive transportation rate.

As well as after that, the first freight train on the China-Turkmenistan railway route in transit through Kazakhstan arrived at the Gypdzhak railway station, Turkmenistan. Railway container transportation was organized by the Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan OJSC. The train was sent from the Chinese station Jinan Nan, then the freight train proceeded through the Kazakh border crossings Khorgos, Altynkol and Bolashak in the direction of the Turkmen station Gypdzhak. The cargo train consisted of 44 forty-foot containers. The arrival time of the train to Gypdzhak station took 15 days. It is expected that the new connection will open up additional opportunities for trade and economic cooperation and will contribute to an increase in cargo flows.

Railways Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan, automobile and railway bridges stretched across the Amu Darya, fiber-optic communication lines passing through these directions, airports in Ashgabat and regions, express highways, the International seaport in the city of Turkmenbashi, other facilities built and under construction in our country are to become an important part of the international system of transport communications. With the commissioning of the international seaport, the effective use of existing intercontinental routes will be achieved and, by providing access to world markets to interested countries, it will strengthen regional and international trade, economic, trade, humanitarian and tourism ties.

Our country, which combines as a logistics center, sea, railway, highways, providing various types of services, pays special attention to the issue of enhancing the transport corridors Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Turkiye, Europe-Caucasus-Asia.

The international seaport of Turkmenbashi is located on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. The port is a hub port on the Caspian Sea, reloading many cargoes to countries bordering the sea. The modern port is capable of handling any kind of cargo such as equipment, building materials, textiles, chemical products, as well as passenger and rail ferries to other ports on the Caspian Sea. The port is now the largest seaport on the Caspian Sea.

The container terminal is capable of handling 400,000 TEU per year, which allows for the simultaneous handling of three vessels with a deadweight of 5,000 tons. The terminal can handle empty, full, refrigerated and gas containers. In addition to standard 20′ and 40′ containers, the terminal can handle 45′ and oversized containers.

The Turkmenbashi International Sea Port, which will become a transit transport link that combines several types of transport communication, has sufficient potential for the successful implementation of multimodal logistics in our country. This port is able to receive sea vessels throughout the year, carry out work on their loading and unloading. This international seaport makes it possible in the future to significantly increase the volume of transportation of transit cargo, various types of products, goods and material and technical equipment.

This port, located on the Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) trade route, is distinguished by its advantageous geopolitical significance in Eurasia. Freight transportation from here is systematically carried out on ships from Turkmenbashi to the ports of the Caspian states. Efficient use and consistent development of our country’s sea routes in accordance with international standards of transport logistics, which has broad promising opportunities, will help increase the growth rate of the national economy.

OJSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan”  is the national operator of Turkmenistan for the organization of container trains, as well as the operator of the Container Terminal of the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi.

Starting from 2020, our countries have jointly created a multimodal transport corridor Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia, which connects the states of the European and Asian continents. For the implementation of uninterrupted transportation of containers across the Caspian Sea, a regular feeder vessel was organized between the seaports of Turkmenbashi and Baku.

Containers arriving by feeder from the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi are then sent (by rail / by road) to Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and intermodal transportation within Turkmenistan is also carried out along this route. This route is considered one of the most optimal, safe and fast for freight traffic from Europe to Central Asia.

Currently, intensive consultations are underway on the creation of transport and transit corridors between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, called the „Northern Gate” and the „Caspian Sea – Black Sea”, between Romania, Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Also, the OJSC „Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan” is establishing close cooperation with international companies COSCO, MAERSK, MSC, and in the future it is planned to work closely with them on container transportation.

Starting from 2021, perishable products in transit along this route are sent in refrigerated containers to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Cargoes are delivered safe and sound on time, and today this route is the most optimal for this type of transportation. Their balance sheet also includes new modern refrigerated containers designed for the transportation of perishable goods. Our common task is to combine objective economic interests, the realities of international partnership with the need to maintain an ecological balance. Another component of transport cooperation that should not be forgotten is the humanitarian dimension. In the modern world, through the construction of new, shortest transport routes, additional opportunities are opening up for increasing the mobility of people, meeting their needs to visit new countries, and communicate with other people. And this, in turn, gives a good impetus to the opening of new tourist routes, the establishment of human contacts that contribute to rapprochement and mutual understanding between the peoples of our planet.

Mrs. Maysa Saherova

Embassy of Turkmenistan in Romania

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