Three members of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) – Grampet – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR – Romania), GR Logistics & Terminals LLC (Georgia) and ASCO Logistic CJSC (Azerbaijan) – have signed an agreement to set up a consortium to operate a regular shipping between the ports of Constanța and the Georgian ports of Batumi and Poti.
Gruia Stoica, president of the Grampet Group, said that the new route would have an important role in developing freight traffic between Europe and Asia, a key role for TITR (also known as the Middle Corridor). He added that last June his company and NMSC Kazmortransflot LLP, the national sea carrier of Kazakhstan, signed a cooperation agreement as part of the same project.
Sorin Chinde, Vice President of the Grampet’s Transport Division, added, “Alternative routes, which go through Istanbul or Piraeus, are non-competitive, because they have a transit time of 12 to 24 days. Once a permanent and regular connection between the ports of Georgia and Romania is launched, we can reduce this transit time by 5 days forth / 5 days back, so that the transit time between the Georgian ports and Constanta is reduced to 2 days”.
The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known as the Middle Corridor, combines the countries participating in the new Silk Road project and important players of the region. Its members are leading maritime and transport companies from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, China and Turkey. The organisation aims to popularise the middle corridor, accelerate and simplify cargo transportation procedures between Asia and Europe, and make special preferential tariffs. Between East and West, in terms of cargo, the middle corridor helps to compete with the north-south routes.
TITR allows European companies to bypass Russia, which until now sanctions the transit of certain types of goods through the country. A number of Russian entities are under sanctions from the international community following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014. The importance of this route was underlined with the inclusion of Georgia and Azerbaijan in the European Union (EU) TEN-T network.
Source: Constanza Port
Publication: Patrycja Zając