• 05/10/2022

Interview with RZDL CEO Viacheslav Valentik (俄铁物流总裁专访)

9月 1, 2020

1. Will services of express delivery of cargo from China change supply chain system in Eurasia?

One can say that “One Belt, One Road” initiative has already significantly changed the routes of cargo supplies from China to Europe. The time of various goods’ delivery has reduced, including the delivery of auto parts and components for electronic devices. Expedited delivery from China has already essentially changed planning system in companies, which base their production on components from China. The same changes affected Chinese manufactures. Moreover, “One Belt, One Road” has allowed consignors to reduce warehouse stock and velocity of money, while making Eurasian continent in general closer to just-in-time delivery.

2. How many TEUs did RZD Logistics ship in 2018 from China to Europe, including transit?

Overall, in 2018 RZD Logistics shipped by rail from/to China 108 000 TEU. In 2019, we intend to increase this volume.

3. How does RZD Logistics position itself? As an operator or a freight forwarder, which provides logistics services?

Since its very inception RZD Logistics has always adhered to complex approach to providing logistics services – on the one hand, we are a train operator for platform companies and work at all three border points: Dostyk (through Kazakhstan), Zabaykalsk (through Russia) and Naushki (through Mongolia). But, at the same time we switch cargo to these trains, being, in this case, a forwarder. Our subsidiary Far East Land Bridge (FELB) is actively involved in this process in Europe and China.


In 2019, RZD Logistics is planning to further develop all areas of its business, including working on new routes’ and modern logistics services, such as a highly promising project of RZD Logistics Rail Jet – delivery of goods from Beijing to Moscow in 6 days in baggage rail cars of passenger trains.


This is a brand new service of high speed railway shipments of various cargo, including e-commerce goods, by passenger trains, which guarantees delivery to Moscow and Beijing with accuracy down to a minute. Another service, which our company is actively developing, is a new multimodal transit route from China to port Bronka and from there by sea to the ports of North Europe, including Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Oslo and Helsinki. The new route will help to avoid delays at entrance points to Europe and will contribute to the development of trade relations between China and such countries, as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and others.


4. Could you comment on the latest changes in TransContainer?


TransContainer is a long-standing partner of RZD Logistics. We jointly develop transit shipments from China across the border point Zabaykalsk. Nevertheless, all questions regarding any changes in TransContainer should be better addressed directly to the company.

5. How do you manage to keep the balance of interests between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan? How many trains and 20-foot containers does RZD Logistics plan to ship in 2019? How do you evaluate the potential of multiple railway transport corridors? Across Alashankou – to Dostyk, Erenhot, Manzhouli – Zabaykalsk, Dobra, Chop or Kaliningrad, etc. Will RZD Logistics focus its efforts on the support of some certain railway corridors, for instance, through Manzhouli and Zabaykalsk or will strive to maintain balance by developing various transport corridors?


According to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decrees, by the year 2024 Russia has to reduce the delivery time for containers from the Far East to the Western border of Russia to 7 days, whereas the volume of railway container transit should be increased by 4 times. We at RZD Logistics realize that such progress is possible only by using all functioning transport corridors. With being a part of the RZD Holding, we are aware of the fact that one route will not cope with all pressure on infrastructure, which should be used proportionally and effectively. This is why RZD Logistics is developing all available transport corridors, taking into consideration, first of all, consignors’ needs. Our goal is to offer clients the highest level of service and the shortest time of delivery.


6. How do you evaluate the problem of congestion at border points Brest-Malaszewicze and Dostyk- Alashankou?

Extreme weather conditions sometimes can affect the working regime of border crossings. As far as Malaszewicze and Brest stations are concerned, we really see high congestion there. This can, first of all, be explained by the extreme growth of transit from China to Europe, which makes it hard for the infrastructure of Polish Railways to coordinate such flow. This is the reason, why RZD Logistics is constantly working on new opportunities to use various transport routes to Europe, for example, deliver cargo through the above mentioned port of Bronka.

We also continue our work on optimization of all logistics processes. Our company set the goal to achieve 100% balance between WB/EB trains and we see that the situation is improving year by year. Several years ago, this problem was much more of an issue, but today we see visible improvements. As a result of 2018, the average balance of WB and ЕB flows through the border crossing Zabaykalsk-Manzhouli was 81%, reaching 100% in certain months (for example, in September, 2018).

7. Could you comment on the situation, when the number of container platforms at border crossings is reducing during high seasons?

We can say that sometimes there is a certain deficit of container platforms due to essential increase of transit shipments’ volume. Of course, the market has been experiencing this deficit for a long time. Nowadays nearly each operator of rail cars has placed orders for new container platforms’ construction and in the course of 2019 they will be entering the market. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the continuing growth of transit, certain deficit of rail cars sometimes can be tangible.


8. As far as I know, railroad tariff (rate) changes every year. Is it expected to increase in 2019? How do you evaluate the activity of UTLC on the market of shipments from China to Europe?

Railroad rate consists of 2 parts – transit tariff of JSC RZD and tariff for the use of rail cars. The first one has not changed for more than seven years, thanks to the RZD Holding, and presents an important contribution to the development of transit shipments. The second one tends to increase, because of the rail cars’ price. This is just a market factor. Nonetheless, the scale of the deficit is set and RZD Logistics does not expect significant growth of rates in 2019. We, for our part, will do everything possible, in order to increase the turnaround of rolling stock and thereby try to keep the rates at the current level.


As far as UTLC is concerned, this company was created precisely for the development of transit shipments across the route China-Kazakhstan-Russia-Belarus-Europe. We see that the company is actively working in this area, solving all tasks it faces, and we wish it further professional success.


9. Chinese logistics companies (YuXinOu, Chengdu, ZIH, etc) have many railway platforms. Now booking of platforms for trains will be performed through such companies, as FELB, RTSB, RCO, etc. Will there be an opportunity to book trains directly and through RZD Logistics?


RZD Logistics already cooperates with all these companies and they book trains directly with us. Thus, not only is it possible – this is exactly how we are working now. Our company contacts them on a daily basis and they regularly place orders with us for transit, export and import trains. This happens mainly due to the fact that RZD Logistics offers its Chinese partners all possible routes of delivery, unlike other market players.

10. In order to increase the volume of goods’ turnover between China and Europe, the price of transit services should be stable, available and attractive for consignors. The price in this case plays a crucial role, but railroad rates only partly are set by China, their other part depends on CIS countries. Chinese government actively subsidies railway transit shipments, in order to stimulate trade growth. What measures does RZD Logistics plan to implement, in order to increase the transit cargo flow and shipments to/from China?


We believe that for state platform companies of China it is more logical to work with foreign companies, which are the part of national railways holdings. This allows them to exclude middlemen, who increase rates by adding their margin, from transport process. Thus, in case Chinese companies are interested in, for example, transit across Russia, they should work with the RZD Holding and if they need to ship cargo, for instance, to Germany, they need to turn to Deutsche Bahn.

If this is a complex shipment, it should be fulfilled by a consortium of logistics operators of national railways. Meeting these conditions will allow to make rates transparent and, as I have mentioned above, will exclude unnecessary parties from chains. The absence of middlemen will also increase the responsibility of all operators of the transport process, and clients will get the better idea, which party is responsible for what. This, in turn, will influence the quality of logistics services, which is extremely important for Chinese consignors.


That is why RZD Logistics will offer Chinese platform companies its own logistics services as a way to increase shipments to China and from China. These services will allow them to deliver, process and send cargo to/from any point in Russia, not only by rail, but by any mode of transport.  Moreover, in order to increase the volume of transit shipments we will continue to further deepen cooperation with such holdings of national railways, as the above mentioned Deutsche Bahn, Finnish VR, Polish PKP and many others.


俄铁物流全球首席执行官及董事会成员,同时担任俄铁物流在拉脱维亚的合资企业EURO RAIL TRANS董事会主席、俄铁物流下属公司远东陆桥董事会成员、俄铁总公司控股公司捷富凯GEFCO监事会成员、俄罗斯铁路下属公司俄罗斯联邦货运委员会以及其运输与物流分委员会成员。受过运输组织和交通管理高等教育。从2004年起在Globaltrans集团公司担任领导岗位,其中包括NEW FREIGHT FORWARDING担任第一副总裁、北科运有限责任公司担任第一副总裁(2014年该公司被改组成为Globaltrans管理有限责任公司)。









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