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Kazmortransflot National Maritime Shipping Company launches a new container ship on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

As part of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, the launch of the container ship "Sunkar" took place in the seaport of Aktau timed to coincide with the Day of Oil and Gas Industry Workers.

The International Association "Trans-Caspian International Transport Route" uniting various companies of the transport and logistics complex of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and other countries was established in February 2017.

At the beginning of 2019, between the companies Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC (KTZ) and KazMunayGas JSC, as well as their subsidiaries NMSС Kazmortransflot LLP (KMTF) and KTZ Express Shipping JSC, a General Agreement was signed whereby KTZ leased 4 dry-cargo vessels to KMTF for a more efficient and professional operation. Sea freight transportation is an extremely complex and specific industry. It is practically impossible to compete effectively in this market without being a specialized shipping company. At the same time, the purpose of the asset synergy was to integrate the assets of the Samruk-Kazyna Fund to create an efficient multimodal transport system for the supply of Chinese and Kazakh products to European markets through Azerbaijan. The global transport and logistics industry is on the path of increasing containerization and, realizing this, KMTF, as the locomotive of merchant shipping in Kazakhstan, has always advocated the development of this direction in our country.

The main competitive advantage of TCITR was the speed of delivery from China to Europe, which is 16-18 days. However, in the first years after the creation of TCITR, the lack of a stable flow of containerized cargo did not allow attracting the marine fleet to the Aktau-Baku line, while the absence of a regular sea line in a key area prevented the declared delivery speed from being observed and, as a result, increasing cargo turnover. Thus, before the launch of the feeder line, only a few routs across the Caspian were made.

Joining the KMTF association gave a new impetus to the development of this initiative, and led to the opening on April 16, 2019 of the first feeder (regular) container service in the Caspian between the seaports of Aktau and Baku.

Despite the minimum load in the first months of the new line, KMTF believed in the success of this project. For almost the first six months, the loading of the ship did not exceed 10-20% of the maximum, often the ship went on a voyage with only one container. Customers and shippers, given that this is a new container route, did not risk sending their cargo through the port of Aktau. Despite these difficulties and the operating loss, KMTF continued to operate all routes according to the strictly announced schedule. It was necessary to show potential customers that nothing would prevent their cargo from reaching the final destination on the promised date. These actions from the outside could seem erroneous and even harmful, but, as practice has shown, the calculation turned out to be correct.

Since 2020, a steady growth in cargo traffic has begun, which means that shippers believe in the speed and reliability of TCITR. This made it possible to use two vessels - the second was the vessel of our Azerbaijani partners, ASCO. Today we see that the annual volume is about 20 thousand containers in twenty -foot equivalent (TFE) per year, increasing several times compared to 2019.

In view of the need to increase throughput capacity, in March 2021, KMTF modernized the Barys vessel, previously used for transporting oversized cargo, into a container ship specifically for this route. Being the first specialized container ship in our country, Barys is able to take on board a record 350 TFE for the Caspian.

The country's leadership pays special attention to the development of the transport and logistics industry, in particular, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Tokayev K. instructed to develop maritime transport, strengthen the marine fleet and create a container hub in the port of Aktau.

The decision taken at KMTF to modernize re-equip two vessels "Sunkar" and "Berkut" for containers will contribute to the solution of the tasks set by the Head of State.

Modernization of the "Sunkar" ship has already been completed, and on the eve of the celebration of the Day of Oil and Gas Industry Workers, the second container ship set off on its first route. This will increase the capacity of the KMTF fleet to 30,000 TFEs per year.

KMTF starts work on modernization of the third - Berkut vessel for the container ship, and plans to complete work in the first quarter of next year.


For reference:

Since the launch of the feeder line, 59,532 units of containers in TFE have been transported including the share of KMTF - 49,463 TFEs. For 8 months of 2022, 20,726 TFEs were transported including KMTF’s share - 13,478 TFEs

NMSC "Kazmortransflot" LLP was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated 04.12.1998. NC "KazMunayGas" JSC is its Sole Participant. By Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated April 29, 2011 No. 462, NMSC Kazmortransflot LLP is the National Sea Carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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