Co-Operation Agreements for Opening the Northern Corridor Concluded
Co-operation agreements for opening the Northern Corridor between Kouvola, Kaluga (Moscow), Khorgos and Zhengzhou railroad hubs, i.e., railroad interchanges, have been concluded. Kouvola Innovation Oy has pursued negotiations thereon with the different parties for a couple of years.
”The role of Kinno is that of an enabler; we do not do business but the new route opens up good possibilities for companies to expand and improve their business operations”, Managing Director Martti Husu points out.
Many Finnish export companies are waiting for the opening of the Northern Corridor as the route speeds up the transport some fivefold compared to shipping. In comparison to air transport, the costs would also decrease clearly.
The first test train on the route is planned to arrive at Kouvola in early 2017. Regular traffic is expected to start during next year. The goal is to establish a regular TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) container train service, running at least once a week, between Kouvola – Zhengzhou. There are several railway companies willing to operate the transport on the route.
”Kouvola has the areas, cargo handling and logistics ready for opening the transport corridor at any time. In addition, the local companies in our area offer versatile logistics services”, explains Development Director Simo Päivinen from Kouvola Innovation Oy.
In EU, Kouvola is the only Finnish core network terminal (TEN-T, i.e., Trans European Network terminal) with some 10 million tons of freight passing through it annually. In the comparison of the European logistics hubs, Kouvola ranked 32nd and, in the comparison covering the Nordic and Baltic countries, Kouvola ranked 1st with flying colors. The Northern Corridor thus opens up possibilities for all Nordic Countries and the Northern Europe to benefit from the route.
The EU encourages the development of rail transport and the Europe-Asia route is considered very important. At present, the Hamburg-Zhengzhou rail connection (c. 10 000 km) takes up 14 days. The route from Kouvola to Zhengzhou is shorter (c. 8 000 km) and, after the transport corridor opens, the estimated duration will be some 10 days.