Aktau Commercial Seaport Offers Discounts on Container Shipping to Boost Middle Corridor Trade

Aktau Commercial Seaport Offers Discounts on Container Shipping to Boost Middle Corridor Trade

In a strategic move to boost the flow of goods along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TMTM), commonly known as the Middle Corridor, Kazakhstan's Aktau Commercial Seaport is offering significant discounts on container shipping for 2024.

Under the new proposal, the cost to transport a 20-foot container will be set at $60 (excluding VAT), while a 40-foot container will be priced at $80 (excluding VAT). These discounted rates are contingent upon similar tariff adjustments at the Baku International Commercial Port in Alat (BMMTP) and corresponding rail transport discounts from operators in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

This initiative is a pivotal step in the ongoing development of the TMTM, which has experienced remarkable growth since its establishment in 2014. In 2023, the route facilitated the transportation of nearly 2.7 million tons of cargo, marking an 86% increase from 2022. Projections for 2024 suggest this figure will rise to 4.2 million tons.

The Kazakh port of Kuryk is also prepared to offer preferential terms to shippers and carriers, contingent upon guaranteed cargo volumes. Additionally, 2024 will see the commencement of dredging works at the port of Kuryk and the construction of a container hub at the port of Aktau. These projects, financed through TMTM development investments, aim to boost the capacity of the Kazakh ports of Kuryk and Aktau by 50% (up to 32 million tons of cargo annually) and triple container traffic (to over 200,000 TEUs annually) by 2028.

Beyond port infrastructure enhancements, a joint transport and logistics operator company is set to be established by the end of 2024. This company will include participation from Turkish and Chinese partners and will focus on optimizing logistics along the TMTM route.

These ambitious developments position the TMTM as a viable alternative to traditional cargo transportation routes, offering a shorter and more cost-effective link between Asia and Europe. The collaborative efforts of the participating countries aim to make the TMTM a key component in the revival of the New Silk Road, thereby stimulating trade, economic growth, and regional cooperation.

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