Mail by rail
Russian Rail and Russian Post have reached a “Roadmap” agreement for transporting mail between China, Russia and Europe by interstate rail. The Roadmap was signed on 30 September by Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways, and Dmitry Strashnov, CEO of Russian Post.
In a statement issued earlier this month, Russian Rail said that the Roadmap agreement “comes against the background of dynamic growth in the volume of international mail”, which has required the development of a new logistics route.
In the first half of 2016, Russian Post handled 98.7m international shipments with goods or products, which is more than twice as many as in the first half of 2015.
Oleg Belozerov, the President of Russian Railways, commented: “In the last few years we have seen a significant increase in e-commerce between China and Russia. Since this business is particularly sensitive to delivery terms, we are offering a new service that will not only reduce the time of parcels in transit, but also reduce transport costs in comparison with other modes of transport. This service will ultimately be profitable both to suppliers and their customers. The participation of our partner Russian Post will allow us to implement the principle of a one-stop solution and make deliveries easy and fast for customers.”
Dmitry Strashnov, CEO of Russian Post, said: “The project is the first time in history that a direct rail transport corridor for mail will connect China and Western Europe.
Strashnov added: “The advantages of this new mail route to all those involved in e-commerce are obvious. This offers a good alternative to air delivery, both in terms of delivery times and quality. For us, it is important not only to provide a convenient transit corridor for freight traffic between East and West, but also to establish favourable conditions for Russian exports. In addition, we will do this in both directions, both to China and to European countries.”
A test run using an international postal wagon as part of the Beijing – Moscow train took place in April. The delivery time from Harbin was 5 days.
Operations with international mail are carried out at the Harbin, Manchuria, Zabaykalsk and Moscow-Yaroslavl stations.