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With major shipping companies suspending their operations to Russian ports, a full container train with paper products, including newsprint, is on its way from Russia to Chennai through a multi-modal transportation.The cargo handled by RZD Logistics (Russian Railways) left Russia a few days ago taking the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). In the first leg, the cargo took the rail mode from Russia to Bandar Abbas port in Iran through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. From the Iranian port, the cargo will move by sea to Chennai in the second leg.The train carried 53 forty-foot containers with newsprint in 32 eighty-foot flatcars, owned by the container operator RZD Business Active, according to Russian media. This was confirmed by multiple sources in Chennai.
Quicker route
This is the second such consignment from Russia to India via the INSTC. In June last year, RZD Logistics and Nurminen Logistics sent a block train with 32 forty-foot containers from Vuosaari in Finland to Mumbai via the Bandar Abbas port. Last year, the Container Corporation of India (Concor) and RZD Logistics also signed a service agreement to transport cargo between the two countries using a single invoice. A memorandum of understanding, too, was signed to this effect.The INSTC route, through ports in Iran and Azerbaijan, cuts the time to move goods by almost half as it will avoid the present circuitous sea route through the Suez Canal.As per preliminary estimates, which may have to be updated, containerised cargo will be transported between the two countries in 25-30 days, down about 40 per cent from the present 45-50 days, reckons Concor. Transportation cost is also expected to drop to around $3,000 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) sized container from $5,000.According to data provided in the Lok Sabha by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, India imported 5.97 lkah kg of Russian newsprints in FY22.SHARE
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