S. L. SAZONOV, Candidate of Economic Sciences Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Trans-Siberian Railway, international transit corridor, transit potential, transport infrastructure, United Russian Transport Highway
At the beginning of the XXI century. The Asia-Pacific region has become one of the key zones actively involved in global geopolitics. The region has become a busy crossroads where various economic interests intersect and through which strategically important transport links pass. The process of global globalization is accompanied by the expansion of interstate economic ties, the growth of trade turnover and the scale of scientific and technical cooperation, and the involvement of new trade markets in the turnover. All this cannot be done without appropriate changes in the national and international transport infrastructure.
In 2013, the total cost of cargo transportation on the Europe - Asia-Pacific route exceeded $700 billion. Every year, about 10 million containers (more than 1 billion tons of cargo) move between the EU and Asia-Pacific countries, about 98% of this flow is transported by foreign sea fleets through foreign ports, bypassing the territory of Russia. Transportation of up to 15% of Euro-Asian transit cargo via Russian communications can bring the Russian Federation more than $15 billion. per year . However, currently transit through Russia accounts for only 0.2% of the existing trade turnover between the countries of Europe and Asia, i.e. only 5-7% of the transit potential of the Russian Federation is used, which brings the country less than $1 billion. per year . During the Soviet era, revenues only from the transit of goods in the direction of Asia-Europe annually amounted to more than $10 billion . The advantage of the geographical location of the Russian Federation makes it possible to open a direct path between the zones of origin and absorption of the world trade cargo flow. Since the routes of Russian transit communications really correspond to the shortest geographical distances, Russia is a natural land bridge for cargo transportation between the main macroeconomic poles - the countries of the European Union and the Asia-Pacific region, America and Eurasia, Europe and Asia. At the same time, the territory of our Far East is at the crossroads of transport routes of Euro-Asian regional centers, and the shortest routes of various types of transport pass through it.
The formation of international transport corridors links Russia through ports and border crossings to the world market. The development of international transport corridors passing through the Russian territory not only promises to attract additional transport cargo and increase the country's income from transit, but also contributes to the development of the entire transport infrastructure throughout the entire economic space of the Russian Federation.
In order for Russia to start receiving tangible revenues from transit, it is necessary to integrate into the international transport system. One of the routes is the Trans - Siberian and Baikal-Amur railway lines, as they connect the Russian Federation with both European and Asia-Pacific countries.
For a century, the only land bridge connecting the countries of the West and East was the Trans-Siberian Railway. Even Count S. Y. Witte, when he was Minister of Railways of the Russian Empire, spoke of the new highway as "part of the future trans-Eurasian route from Le Havre to Vladivostok and the Manchurian ports" .
The Trans - Siberian Railway, which connects Moscow and the Far East, has no equal in terms of length, load capacity, and carrying capacity - it is the longest railway in the world - 9288.2 km, and the potential possibility of the main line is to transport more than 150 million tons of cargo  and 200 thousand containers per year. The main line is a powerful double-track, fully electrified railway line equipped with modern means of information and communication, and is a natural extension of the pan-European transport corridor No. 2*.
Trans-Siberian railway transportation (including domestic transportation-
* The rshkhi part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 2 includes the railway and automobile highways from the border with Belarus to Nizhny Novgorod. The next step is to extend the pan-European corridor No. 2 to Yekaterinburg, which should be considered a potential link in ensuring interaction between pan-European corridors and Euro-Asian transport systems (editor's note).
Russian Railways) account for about 40% of the total volume of cargo transportation through the network of JSC " Russian Railways "(JSC" Russian Railways"), which is one of the world's top three railway companies. In the east, through the border stations of Khasan, Grodekovo, Makhalino, Zabaikalsk, Naushki and Pacific ports (Vladivostok, Nakhodka), the Transsib provides access to the railway network of the DPRK, China and Mongolia, and in the west, through Russian ports (St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Novorossiysk) and border crossings with the former republics of the Soviet Union-to european countries. On the Trans-Siberian Railway, cargo can be delivered from Asia-Pacific countries, primarily China, Japan and Korea, to Europe, passing through customs only twice: on the eastern and western borders of the Russian Federation.
In addition, the Russian Federation has plans to significantly increase the volume of cargo transportation through the Arctic sea routes, which, in turn, is in line with the development program for the northern and eastern regions of the country. The Russian government plans to create a free trade zone (FTA) and a major transport hub near the port of Vanino in the Far East, which will be connected via the Arctic sea routes with the Murmansk and Barents Seas. Thus, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will become the shortest route connecting China and Asia-Pacific countries with Europe. To implement these plans, the Government of the Russian Federation has developed a special program for the construction of new and modernization of old ports in the Arctic Ocean and the renewal of the Russian icebreaking fleet.
UNREALIZED BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES: AN INTERNAL FACTOR
However, so far, Russia has not realized the possibility of increasing its share in international transportation between the Asia-Pacific and European countries, but has not even reached the transit level of the Soviet Union - in the 1980s, up to 100 million tons of cargo and up to 150 thousand containers were transported along the Trans-Siberian Railway [6, p. 17]. The collapse of the USSR and the subsequent crisis phenomena in the Russian economy, the processes of disintegration in the post-Soviet space led to the fact that cargo transportation was sharply reduced, and the existing capacity of the highway is used by one third.
Currently, the state of the Trans-Siberian and BAM railway infrastructure does not meet the growth needs of the freight transport market - capacity utilization factors on most sections exceed the maximum permissible values. The total length of "bottlenecks" in 2013 was about 10% of the total length of landfill roads, and by 2015 this indicator is projected to more than double (more than 2.1 thousand km). And this is even if the measures planned under the Russian Railways investment program are implemented.
According to the HSE expert group, " the capacity of the infrastructure in the direction of the Far East is almost exhausted." Despite the high technical equipment of the eastern polygon of the Trans-Siberian railway, some sections already currently have insufficient capacity and speed restrictions for trains. To date, the length of the "bottlenecks" of the Russian Railways network is about 6 thousand kilometers. km, and the load on infrastructure is one of the highest in the world and has almost reached the maximum level in the entire history of Russia.
According to experts of the World Bank( WB), the entire Russian transport infrastructure, in general, is in poor condition, which is even worse due to insufficient investment in its development, maintenance and repair. WB experts believe that Russia needs to increase spending on the modernization of the transport complex to 2-3% of GDP and increase the efficiency of these public expenditures [7, p. 3].
In addition to internal reasons that prevent the Trans-Siberian Railway from being integrated seamlessly into the system of international transit corridors, there are also purely external reasons that do not depend on us. This is primarily due to the fact that the main route for cargo transportation between the Asia-Pacific countries and Europe is the sea route through the Suez Canal.
Recently, the cargo capacity of mainline container ships used on these routes has significantly increased, which has led to a significant reduction in the cost of transportation. As a result, the cost of transporting goods via the Trans-Siberian Railway is now twice as high as the cost of delivering goods from Asia-Pacific countries to Europe, even taking into account the cost of passing the Suez Canal.
According to the World Bank analysts ' forecasts, the volume of trade turnover between the Asia-Pacific countries and Europe, which exceeded $700 billion in 2012, will increase by 5-8% annually in the period from 2013 to 2015 [8, p. 18], and large maritime shipping companies will not want to share such a tasty morsel with continental railway carriers. In 2011, global container shipping returned to the growth stage, with a 12% increase in total cargo handling at global ports. A key role in this upswing was played by the rapid recovery in foreign trade of many countries, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2011, Asian ports handled 13% more container cargo than in 2010, while North American ports handled 9% more and Western European ports handled only 7% [9, p. 26].
In recent years, container cargo handling (which is mainly foreign trade) has increasingly moved to Asian ports. In 2013, about 70% of its global volume was accounted for in the Asia-Pacific region, where 9 of the 10 largest container ports in the world are located (against 5 in 2000), and 7 of the 10 indicated ports belong to the PRC [10, p. 10].
In the next few years
Additional vehicles will appear on the global container transportation market, primarily in the form of new ultra-large container ships. And yet, demand for them will still increase faster than supply. According to the World Bank experts ' forecasts, the average annual growth of the world container cargo handling volume in ports in 2013-2015 will amount to 7-8% .
In order to reduce freight rates, shipowners are constantly improving and updating their container fleet. In early 2011, the world's largest maritime container shipping company, Moller-Maersk AS (Denmark), signed a contract for the production of 10 state-of-the-art container ships worth $1.9 billion. with the South Korean shipbuilding company Daewoo Shipbuilding&Marine Engineering Co. Ltd.
The supergiants, which will be built between 2013 and 2015, will be able to carry 18,000 containers each: this number is enough to fill the Times Square area in New York. These Triple-E class vessels impress with their size: length - 400 m, width - 59 m and height-73 m. Their capacity is 16% more than the current largest container ships, which can accommodate no more than 13.1 thousand passengers. containers. The contract (the largest in the history of shipbuilding) totaled $5.7 billion. it stipulates the rights for additional construction of 20 more such container ships.
Another Danish company, Maersk, accounts for 18% of all container traffic from Asia to Europe and 15% of these shipments from Europe to Asia. All vessels under construction for the company are designed specifically for the Chinese market, which accounts for more than 75% of Maersk's container traffic. They will be assigned to the five largest and most deep-water Chinese ports-Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Xia-men, Yantai and Hong Kong.
The new container ships will consume 35% less fuel (CO2 emissions will be reduced by 50%), and together with the increased cargo capacity, they will undoubtedly contribute to lower freight rates. The engine dimensions of the Triple-E class container ships will be 20% smaller than those of the "E" class vessels, as their design is designed for a speed of 19 knots, and not the standard 23 knots.
It is known that after the global financial crisis of 2008, container ships regularly run at a reduced speed, as this helps operators save fuel and reduce carbon emissions .
Along with improving the container fleet, the Chinese shipbuilding industry has also made significant progress in the construction of domestic dry cargo ships. On February 23, 2012, the world's largest ore carrier of Chinese production GEMMA with a cargo capacity of 313 thousand tons set off from the port of Dalian (Liaoning) for the first voyage to Brazil. Made in 1 year and 3 months at the Dalian Heavy Shipbuilding Association, it impresses with its size: its length is 330 m, width - 57 m and weight -152 thousand tons. The introduction of such giant bulk carriers* will undoubtedly help to reduce the cost of transporting Chinese export cargo .
WHY HIGH RAILWAY FARES ARE UNPROFITABLE
One of the internal reasons for the lack of traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railway is the irrational and inflexible system of railway tariffs of Russian Railways, its high cost, as well as the lack of development of relations in the field of cargo insurance. During economic crises, freight carriers always lower their tariffs to avoid losing their customer base. This is exactly what China's ten largest sea carriers, including COSCO Holdings Co, which transports export cargo on the Asia - Europe and Asia - US coast routes, did during the recent global financial crisis.
Since 2008, in order to maintain the competitiveness of sea transit, these companies have maintained reduced freight rates, and if there is no urgency in transporting a standard container, it could be sent, for example, from Shanghai to Europe, for as little as $300. And only in the context of a noticeable revival of international trade and the absence of real competitors in the field of international transit in the face of other modes of transport, Chinese maritime companies decided to increase the cost of sea transportation in the Asia - Europe direction of a 20-foot container by $500 from May 2011 .
Despite the recent increase in the sea freight rate to $1,700 per standard container , the export of goods to China and other Asia-Pacific countries from Europe via Far Eastern ports with the delivery of foreign trade goods to them via the Trans-Siberian Railway still costs twice as much as export by sea.
Currently, more than 15% of Russian cargo is exported and imported through foreign ports, which means that Russia loses more than 1.5 billion rubles. per year. As a result, a significant part of imports from Asia-Pacific countries are delivered to our country not by short routes through Russian Far Eastern ports and further along the Trans-Siberian Railway, but by a winding sea route through the Suez Canal and European ports. It is worth noting that Chinese railways also compete with the Trans-Siberian Railway, primarily due to the relatively low freight rate. As Vladimir Yakunin, Chairman of Russian Railways, noted, " today rolling stock in China is more than two times cheaper than in Russia and is prepared to operate in high-speed mode up to 160 km / h."
The higher cost of transit by rail is also determined by the inconsistency of the tariff-
* Bulk carrier (from the English bulk - bulk cargo), or bulk carrier - a specialized vessel for the transportation of bulk cargo, such as grain, coal, ore, cement, etc. A bulk carrier is a type of dry cargo ship (approx. ed.).
Russian Railways often changes transit tariffs, which causes chaos in the work of transport companies. Shipping companies set tariffs strictly once a year, notifying shippers in advance, while Russian Railways changes them several times a year.
OUR MAIN COMPETITOR
The attractiveness of transit traffic on the Trans-Siberian Railway for South Korean companies sharply decreased after Russian Railways raised freight rates by almost 30% at the end of 2007. As a result, more than 90% of Korean cargo sent to Central Asian countries and served by the Trans-Siberian Railway was diverted to the China Euro-Asian Transcontinental Railway (ETM).
The ETM, the length of which is about 11 thousand km, originates on the Eastern coast of China, passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and ends in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. This is the second main line after the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects Asia and Europe, as well as the shortest and most economical transport corridor between the two continents. In China, it is called the "new Silk Road". Compared to the sea route, the highway allows you to reduce time and distance by 50%.
Large-scale works were carried out on the final sections of the main line, and the modernization of the track made it possible to increase the speed of trains to 160 - 180 km/h. As a result of the reconstruction, Lianyungang Port has become an internal port, its water area and the total length of berths have increased many times. And most importantly, an almost 7-km dam was built to increase the number of berths as needed, which turned the port into one of the largest on the Pacific coast of China - in 2011, the port of Lianyungang handled 156.3 million tons of cargo and more than 4.5 million standard containers.
Thanks to the connection of the Chinese and Kazakh railways, in 2012 the freight turnover of the Central Asian Republic's railway transport increased 1.5 times compared to 2010, and the volume of foreign trade of the XUAR with Kazakhstan in 2012 increased by 5.4% compared to the previous year and reached $11.17 billion.
This is just one example of how China is developing its land transport potential and will soon be able to establish itself as a market leader in Eurasian continental transit transport. Russia's intention within the SCO to expand cooperation with China and Central Asian countries in the field of creating Eurasian transit corridors runs into a discrepancy of interests, competition and rivalry between the organization's members.
The reason for this is simple - the obvious desire of the countries of Central Asia (CA) to use their own and Chinese territories to form a new Eurasian corridor in order to turn it into a source of foreign exchange through the transportation of transit cargo. The geopolitical consequences of creating new transit corridors are unfavorable for the Russian Federation - they will be expressed in its further communication disintegration, blocking Russian interests in the region and "squeezing" Russia out of its traditional zones of economic influence.
For the Russian Federation, the consequences of such a rapid increase in China's transport capacity will be very negative: the main cargo flows will go along international transport corridors built mainly on the territory of the PRC and Central Asian countries, i.e. bypassing Russia, since the prospects for possible exits of Chinese railways and highways to the west of the Eurasian continent are already clearly visible.
Today, more than 10 million tons of cargo and 100 thousand containers annually cross the Chinese-Kazakh border near Dostyk station. This international railway route is one of the alternatives to the Russian trans-Siberian transit route for cargo transportation from Asia-Pacific countries to the European Union (China-Kazakhstan - the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea at the port of Aktau, where the ferry service to Baku begins, and then to Europe).
It is important and profitable for Russia to pass a significant part of this flow through its transport communications, but it is also important for Kazakhstan. As you know, competition creates powerful incentives for preference. And the answer to the question of which way export cargo from the Asia - Pacific countries will go to Europe, via China - Kazakhstan-Caucasus or Russia, will be the same: along the route where it is cheaper.
The inflated Russian tariffs for rail freight transportation represent a kind of negative differential rent of location, which shippers pay to the federal center and the world community. This rent goes only to a small extent to the Russian budget (mainly through the national transport monopoly JSC "Russian Railways"). Most of it goes to foreign sea and railway carriers.
Container and other cargo transfers from sea vessels to railway trains and back are carried out within Russian corridors and border checkpoints in Far Eastern seaports. At the same time, there are a number of objective difficulties associated with the differences in the carrying capacity of, for example, a Russian sea container ship (1500 - 2000 TEU*) and a container train (100 - 120 TEU).
For further shipment by rail of containers arriving at the port on a single container carrier, 15-20 container trains are required - it is obvious that such a large number of trains cannot be loaded at the same time. As a consequence,
* TEU (twenty-foot equivalent) - a conventional unit of measurement for the capacity of cargo vehicles. It is often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. Based on the volume of a 20-foot (6.1 meter) intermodal container (approx. ed.).
further shipment of a container shipment by rail takes several days.
At the same time, there is a problem of matching the frequency of movement of sea vessels and railway trains and a complex problem of matching the mutual duties and responsibilities of sea and railway transport organizations when performing multimodal transport*. The rules of Russian Railways require you to submit an application for transportation 15 days before the start of transportation and extremely strictly regulate the transportation of 20-and 40-foot containers. Any businessman who conducts trade with China knows that sea carriers, as a rule, do not charge money for returning an empty container to any port in the PRC. The principle of "earn money on turnover and customer loyalty" works perfectly in this global transit transport business, but not on Russian railways - the return of an empty container to China via the Trans-Siberian Railway, as a rule, must be paid.
A report by the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USA) states that Russia ranks last in terms of the development of transport and logistics chains among APEC countries. The study was aimed at identifying and quantifying the most significant bottlenecks and barriers that cause time delays, increase transport costs, and increase the risks of increasing the length of logistics chains. The survey included executives from more than 180 companies, as well as experts from APEC countries.
The report notes that Singapore ranks first among APEC economies in terms of the efficiency of logistics chains, and the efficiency of Russian logistics is 63.8% of the efficiency of logistics in this country-city.
For example, in Russia, the preparation of transport documents for the export or import of goods takes 25 days and costs companies an average of $200 (Singapore - 1 day and $105). Customs control in the Russian Federation usually takes 3-4 days at a cost of $500 (in APEC countries, this procedure takes an average of 1 day and costs $31), cargo clearance in a Russian port - 3 days and $250 (APEC countries - 1 day and $180) [6, p. 3].
At the beginning of the XXI century, the global structure of cargo transportation underwent significant changes. Container traffic volumes are growing at an accelerated pace - they have grown by 200% over the past 10 years. In 2005, the share of container cargo in the total volume of world cargo transportation was 55%, and by 2012 it reached 70% [15, p. 48].
Russia currently lags significantly behind developed countries in terms of containerization, which creates prerequisites for Russia's peripheral position in the global cargo transportation system. The share of transit traffic is inadequately small and does not correspond to the favorable position of the Russian Federation on the path of international transport corridors.
Analysis of container cargo transshipment in Russian seaports in 2011 showed that the share of container transshipment in the import direction was 45.6%, in the export direction-44.5%, and only 0.5% was transshipped in the transit direction. In Russia, containers transport only 6% of export cargo and 31% of import cargo - in terms of service and technical capabilities of transportation, Russian Railways is sharply inferior to shipping companies .
Thus, Russia may find itself in a situation of forced "refusal" of part of container transit in favor of the Chinese Eurasian Transcontinental Railway (ETM), or Asian sea carriers. For example, the port of Vostochny is extremely inconvenient, since the port has many difficulties in customs clearance of cargo, the period of parking of foreign vessels on an external roadstead is too long, waiting for unloading, and extremely high service rates.
Many Japanese and Chinese companies prefer to import cargo to Russia via Busan, South Korea, or Shanghai, China, which is faster and cheaper. For example, the cost of transshipment of a sea container in the port of Shanghai is $50, while in the Russian port of Vostochny-over $150. According to Japanese experts, the Vostochny port currently cannot meet the status of the "main export gateway" in the east of Russia, so Japanese companies are trying in every possible way to diversify supply routes - in particular, the route through the Republic of Korea (ROK) has long been used.
One of the problems of low demand for the transit potential of the Trans-Siberian Railway is the lack of logistics training and support for overland transit of goods between the two main economic centers of the Eastern Hemisphere - the EU and Asia-Pacific countries.
After the collapse of the USSR, state-owned enterprises that collected transit cargo in the Asia-Pacific countries and sent them further along the Trans-Siberian Railway to Europe disappeared. Until 1991, such shipments were handled by Soyuzvneshtrans and Soyuztransit. Currently, the reason for the weak transit congestion of the Trans-Siberian Railway and BAM is also due to the narrowness of the cargo filling base of railway lines from other modes of transport, primarily from the Far Eastern ports.
In the Far East, Russia has about 20 thousand km of sea coasts-this region accounts for 40% of all Russian port capacities; transportation zones from these ports cover the entire Pacific basin, a significant part of the Arctic Ocean basin, the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic basin. Along the Far Eastern coast (length - about 6 thousand km). There are 22 seaports in operation. The ports of Primorye and the port of Vanino are connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Baikal-Amur Mainline, forming a connection with the portside ports.-
* Multimodal transportation - transportation of the same cargo using different modes of transport by one company on the basis of a single contract. This allows you to significantly reduce the cost of transportation, increase the speed of transportation, and also deliver cargo almost anywhere in the world (editor's note).
roadside stations, so - called transport hubs. There are three major transport hubs in the Far East: Vladivostok (Vladivostok Commercial Port), Nakhodka (Nakhodka commercial port, nefteport, Vostochny port) and Vaninsky (ports of Vanino, Sovetskaya Gavan and JSC "Transbunker").
Thus, the location of the Far Eastern ports is ideal for intraregional and international transit. However, due to the non-compliance of the port capacity with the volumes required by railways, the lack and significant wear of loading and unloading devices, untimely supply of vessels, as well as uneven shipment of cargo by railways, problems with their unloading constantly arise in cooperation with ports, most often in the autumn - winter period.
Infrastructure capacity in the Far East is almost exhausted - railway lines to the ports of Vanino and Sovetskaya Gavan will be two to three times lower than the capacity of intensively developing seaports in a few years. Today, during peak periods when cargo is presented for transportation, or during unfavorable weather conditions, traffic jams form on the approaches to Far Eastern ports.
In Russia, unlike other countries in the region, the port infrastructure, which was practically not improved after the collapse of the USSR, is poorly developed. The ports of the Far East handle only 17.7% of Russian foreign trade cargo passing through the ports of the Russian Federation, while about 80% of all sea transportation in the Far Eastern basin is carried out through the ports of Southern Primorye [5, p. 8]. In general, the port capacity utilization in the Far East is no more than 60%. In terms of the number of seaports per thousand kilometers of the sea border, China surpasses the Far Eastern borders of Russia by 13 times, and in terms of cargo turnover of seaports, China is 72 times ahead of the Russian Federation [17, p. 26].
The Russian fleet is currently unable to provide full-fledged transportation of domestic foreign trade cargo. Russia depends on foreign shipping companies, which account for the bulk of export-import traffic for all major goods of Russia's foreign trade. Cargo turnover at the ports of neighboring countries is 1.5 - 2 orders of magnitude higher than at the ports of Primorye.
Transport systems of the Asia-Pacific countries are being improved in unison with the strengthening of economic cooperation between the countries of the region. Their maritime activities are developing especially intensively, which is primarily due to the insular or peninsular position of most of the countries of Northeast Asia or the possession of very long sea coasts.
These countries attach particular importance to maritime transport, which is already evident from the cargo capacity of their fleets and the presence of the world's largest ports. Almost all countries of the Asia-Pacific region that have access to the sea consider sea transport as a basic branch of the economy, and the tasks of developing the merchant fleet are among the priorities, because sea transportation, in comparison with other modes of transport, is characterized by the lowest transport costs. Therefore, the share of the marine fleet accounts for the transportation of about 90% of all export-import cargo in the world.
Russia does not have large transshipment ports in the Far East, the ports lack modern transshipment terminals, and the low level of port infrastructure does not allow accepting new-generation container ships. Therefore, the state in which the transshipment equipment of Russian seaports is located, in general, can be characterized as a crisis.
In a situation where the struggle for undervalued operating assets is highly likely to increase in the world, the Russian territory may become a zone of fierce struggle of external centers around its transport infrastructure. When there are no other significant, comparable in scale, competitive sectors in it, the opportunities for forming an independent Russian strategy in the global competitive infrastructure confrontation remain minimal. With a high degree of probability, this can lead to the fragmentation of the national Russian transport system into a number of enclaves, separately embedded in various global and regional infrastructure links.
Nevertheless, land transit through the territory of Russia has its advantages. First, there are technical limits to the volume of cargo transported through the Suez Canal. Secondly, the passage of ships through the Gulf of Aden was not safe until recently due to piracy in Asia and off the coast of Somalia .
Piracy and the associated increased risks led to an increase in insurance payments for carriers, which in turn caused an increase in the cost of container transit through the Gulf of Aden. The use of an alternative sea route through the Cape of Good Hope leads to longer delivery times and, as a result, a serious increase in the cost of transportation. In this situation, the main competitive advantage of transportation through the territory of the Russian Federation is the factor of delivery time. There are a number of cargo names, for which the delivery time determines the quality and final price of the goods.
Third, overland transit will partially solve the problem of empty container runs from the EU to Asia-Pacific countries. The fact is that the main flow of cargo goes from the Asia-Pacific countries to Europe, and a significant part of the containers goes back empty. Thus, transport companies incur extra costs. This problem can be solved by filling containers with goods produced in the EU and delivered to the Asia-Pacific countries. Taking into account the above factors, the potential of land transit through the territory of Russia is quite high. However, for its implementation, it is necessary to make cargo transportation along the Trans-Siberian Railway bo-
more attractive than by sea, via the Suez Canal.
One of the most important tasks within the framework of the Asia-Russia-Europe transport Union is to develop the transit potential of the participating countries, which allows cargo transportation between the countries of the Asia-Pacific Region and the European Union along the shortest route with minimal transport costs.
The transit transport corridor being created on the basis of the Russian transport system is a strategic alternative to the traditional sea route from the Far East and Asia-Pacific countries around India and through the Suez Canal. The main advantage of the new corridor is that it will be created using existing transport routes that require integration into a single transport infrastructure.
The Russian project of the international transport corridor was developed on the basis of a reliable database on topography, geology, hydrography, etc. Strengthening the role of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which is the main link of the Russian international transit system, is becoming one of the most important tasks for the development of railway transport in the Russian Federation, defined in the "Transport Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2020" and "Strategy for the Development of Railway Transport in the Russian Federation until 2030" [19, p.58].
A transcontinental corridor based on the Trans-Siberian Railway is definitely needed, however, given the high cost of a simple Trans-Siberian reconstruction project, the focus on international transit traffic seems to be a secondary task, since the possible transit volumes are not so significant that revenues from it in the amount of approximately $10 billion. significantly reflected in the budget of Russia.
The main goal of the Trans-Siberian Railway reconstruction is to significantly reduce railway tariffs and, as a result, the cost of transportation for domestic shippers. In other words, the highway should become the core of closer economic consolidation and connectivity of the country's territory and the economic development of adjacent territories. Moreover, the "Strategy for the Development of Railway Transport of the Russian Federation until 2030" does not even mention the main unresolved organizational, technical and economic problems of creating the Russian Eurasian railway corridor.
In order to significantly increase the volume of goods transported on the Trans - Siberian Railway between the Asia-Pacific region and the EU, it is proposed to increase the speed of freight trains to 1 thousand km/day, i.e. 3.5 times, for crossing the entire territory of Russia in 11-14 days. However, there is no clear answer to the question of how this speed will be achieved.
Obviously, a radical modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railway is necessary, which means its reconstruction in an elevated (aboveground) version, which will avoid problems associated with the intersection of other routes, cities, etc. at the same level. According to available estimates, only the elevated version of the Trans-Siberian Railway can provide train speeds of up to 120-150 km / h, cover the entire territory of the Russian Federation in 4 days, large-scale productivity and profitability (profit of up to $100 billion). and above), significant competition to sea transport [19, p. 40-42].
(The ending follows)
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18. For more information, see: Mezentsev S. V. The use of foreign military power in Africa. 2013, N 11 (Mezentsev S.V. 2013. Primenenie inostrannoi voennoi sily v Afrike // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 11) (in Russian); Elkina E. A. The end of piracy or just a pause? // Ibid., 2014, No. 1 (Elkina E. A. 2014. Konets piratstva ili prosto pauza? // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 1) (in Russian)
19. Towards the Great Ocean, or the new globalization of Russia // Analytical report of the International Discussion Club "Valdai". Moscow, July 2012 - www.valdaiclub.com. p. 40-58.
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