In a recent government meeting led by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, Kazakhstan has unveiled ambitious plans to increase the level of cargo transit from China to Europe through its territory by five times by the year 2029, an official information source of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.
Vice Minister of Transport Satzhan Ablaliyev reported that in the first nine months of the current year, the volume of road freight transportation in Kazakhstan reached 5.5 mn tons, representing a 22% increase from the same period last year. Domestic operators contributed 42% to this total. Additionally, transit transportation showed positive dynamics with a 44% increase, reaching 3.6 mn tons. Notably, cargo transportation from China doubled to 1.5 mn tons, indicating significant potential for further growth in the transit of goods from China to Europe.
To achieve this ambitious goal, the government plans to redirect cargo from sea routes to road corridors, increase the capacity of checkpoints, expand the internal fleet, and implement an effective system for distributing permits. Creating bonded warehouses is a key initiative to facilitate the transition.
Local authorities from various regions also presented measures to enhance transport hubs and streamline roadside services. These efforts include expanding the Khorgos transport hub, accelerating procedures for allocating sites for service facilities in Balkhash, and ensuring roadside service facilities comply with national standards in the Kyzylorda region.
Alikhan Smailov highlighted the significant impact of well-established road freight transportation on every facet of the economy. Currently, Kazakhstan accommodates eight international highway corridors spanning approximately 13,000 kilometers. These include routes such as Western Europe - Western China, North-South, TRACECA, and others. However, the existing barriers such as lengthy document processing, border crossing procedures, undeveloped infrastructure, and organizational challenges need to be addressed.
Smailov acknowledged complaints from participants in the cargo transportation process, highlighting the need for digital solutions and integration of information systems to expedite cargo inspections and document verification. The development of bonded warehouses, as per the Prime Minister, is crucial for efficient cargo distribution and relieving congestion at checkpoints.
Despite the adoption of the National Standard for roadside service facilities, Smailov noted delays in the provision of land plots for service facilities along roads, hindering infrastructure development. He instructed relevant authorities to develop specific measures to increase checkpoint capacity, complete digitalization in collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Development, and ensure the integration of all information systems.
Smailov concluded the meeting by outlining the importance of developing a roadmap for transport and logistics centers and bonded warehouses, expediting procedures for transferring sites to business entities, and implementing simplified mechanisms for attracting investors to realize these projects. The Ministry of Transport was tasked with developing an effective mechanism for distributing foreign permit forms for domestic companies and making necessary changes to regulatory legal acts.