Russia was the biggest source of Ukraine’s transshipment traffic and to make up for the loss of that cargo Ukraine’s government is contemplating discounts for Russian containers moving through Ukraine and the establishment of alternative transit corridors.
Ukrzaliznytsia, the Ukrainian national railway, recently began issuing discounts ranging from 15 to 60 percent, depending on the type of cargo, as long as said cargo originated in Russia.
Ukraine’s government is also hoping to capture cargo by offering alternative transportation routes like the trans-Caspian route, which is envisioned as part of China’s Belt and Road, but has suffered from a lack of demand.
The route bypasses Russia, but it is unattractive to shippers because the cost of truck transport through Russia is one and a half to two times lower than the cost of rail through Ukraine.
Containerized rail transshipment fell by 18 percent year-over-year in 2015, while maritime transshipment was down 23 percent, according the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport.