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Eurasian Landbridge and the Baltic ports A RNAUD S ERRY U NIVERSITY OF O RLEANS RGS-IBG Annual International Conference University of Edinburgh, 3-5 July.

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Presentation on theme: "Eurasian Landbridge and the Baltic ports A RNAUD S ERRY U NIVERSITY OF O RLEANS RGS-IBG Annual International Conference University of Edinburgh, 3-5 July."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eurasian Landbridge and the Baltic ports A RNAUD S ERRY U NIVERSITY OF O RLEANS RGS-IBG Annual International Conference University of Edinburgh, 3-5 July 2012

2 I NTRODUCTION Sea transport royal road between Europe and Asia Many alternatives are studied : Air/Sea, Eurasian Landbridge… Landbrige: traffic that is transiting across a continent en route to overseas destinations. But used as the generic term to label any form on long distance inland transportation. Baltic States are positioning themselves as potential privileged spaces for the development of intermodality 2

3 S HORT H ISTORY OF L ANDBRIDGES Silk Road : most enduring trade route in human history Land only routes prevailed well into the 15th century. Development of rail networks First modern landbridges : Canadian Pacific Railway modern landbridges associated with developments in intermodal transportation 1979, first dedicated express container trains across the United States. 3

4 D EFINITION Landbridge : Traffic that is transiting across a continent en route to overseas destinations : traffic between Western Europe and Japan. Shipments from one side of the continent to the other is another category : China to Germany. Regional traffic may use the overland corridor for a portion : Western Europe and Kazakhstan. But 2 major characteristics : a single bill of lading goods remain in the same container. 4

5 N ORTH A MERICAN DESIGNATIONS 4 main types of landbridges: Landbridge: Using a landmass as a link in a maritime transport chain involving a foreign origin and destination. Mini landbridge: Using a landmass as a link in a transport chain involving a foreign origin and a destination at the end of the landmass. Micro landbridge: Using a landmass as a link in a transport chain involving a foreign origin and an inland destination. Reverse landbridge: Through a maritime detour reaching an inland destination by using the closest maritime facade instead of the landbridge. 5

6 E AST -W EST FREIGHT CORRIDOR Trans Siberian railway linking Moscow to Vladivostok, completed in s : landbridge service from Vladivostok using the Trans Siberian to reach Western Europe. Northern East-West corridor or the Eurasian Landbridge The Eurasian landbridge mainly uses the Russian railways, 6

7 E URASIAN L ANDBRIDGE Beginning of the 21st century : renewed interests for the new corridor Composed of a maritime segment and a land segment: Links the Atlantic coast of North America with north European ports. two major rail segments: the conventional Siberian Landbridge and the potential Eurasian Landbridge. 7

8 P OTENTIAL CORRIDORS The Trans-Siberian Railway : principal railway link between European Russia and its industrial regions to the east (Siberia, the Urals, etc.). The Northern Trans-Asian corridor is viewed as the second most developed corridor after the TSR The Central Trans-Asian corridor runs from the Sino-Kazakh border via Dostyk to Almaty to Volgograd in Russia A North-South Eurasian corridor: economic interests of Central Asian states and Russia to get better access to the Middle East and South The Southern Trans-Asian corridor is also a potentially useful route. TRACECA Trans-Caspian corridor : Dostyk – Tashkent – Ashgabad – Turkmenbashi – Baku – Tbilisi – Poti route 8

9 C HALLENGES AND LIMITS Numerous challenges of the NEW corridor: Multinational cooperation : Technical bottlenecks : standard (1.435 m) and broad (1.520 m) reloading or an adaptation of the equipment to gauge change : delays ! Obstacles: Technical: missing link, single tracking, electrification… Commercial: As much as time and distance advantages of the landbridge are evident, a critical factor is cost. Operational: customs clearance and border controls, credibility, reputation. Direct overland shipments remain insignificant. 9

10 P OTENTIALITY FOR L ANDBRIDGES In spite of these challenges, the prospects of the Eurasian Landbridge remain positive. The northern corridors have received more attention because of the presumed time/ distance advantages. Step-by-step development Ports in Europe extend their intermodal connections eastward. 10

11 B ALTIC OPPORTUNITIES Baltic States are privileged spaces for the development of intermodality: Western "natural" terminus of the rail network Trans-European Networks and emergence of multimodal logistics platforms. Feeder connections to the Northern Range. 11

12 B ALTIC PORTS Main gateways for Russia and CIS. Particularities : Purpose: Exports of raw materials from Russia and the CIS countries and import of manufactured goods. Importance of transit Increasing traffic of crude oil Increase of regional ro-ro flows Growth of container movement Concentration of traffic in some ports: Saint-Peterburg, Primorsk, Tallinn, Riga and Klaipeda. 12

13 R AILWAYS I MPORTANCE Link between port flows and railway transport: good carried by rail. Main international rail freight concern Russia. Spatial differentiation of hinterlands, neighborhood… 13

14 B LOCK T RAINS Rapid growth of container flows Block trains : train in which all the wagons making it up are shipped from the same origin to the same destination, without being split up or stored en route. door-to-door delivery, safety and easy border crossing and customs procedures 4 types of block train : shuttle, part … 14

15 B LOCK T RAINS I N B ALTIC S TATES 15

16 B LOCK T RAINS AS THE FIRST STEP TO THE L ANDBRIDGE Northern route through the Baltic Sea : link with The Trans-Siberian Railway or The Northern Trans-Asian corridor. Avoids transit through intermediate countries: less technical bottlenecks. Shortest route through Lithuanian ports. Other beneficiary : German ports as Hamburg. Baltic countries opportunity : being an important linking element between two major economical unions. 16

17 C ORRIDOR AND TERRITORY 17

18 C ONCLUSION a major impact on international trade between two of the main trading blocs of the world? lots of unanswered questions : cooperation… Baltic States : well-developed transport system, geopolitical situation of Intermodal Gateway ? Not limit corridor to logistics solutions ! 18


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