New Silk Road Network's (NSRN) 2nd Spring Social Event was held on March 22nd and 23rd this year with the participation of our valuable members. The first day of the NSRN Spring Social event was devoted to presentations and Q&A sessions, and the second day to networking sessions. Similar to last year’s Spring Social event, our presentations are always hosted by our members and are aimed to stimulate exchange of practical info and know-how. Below is brief recap of the conversations that took place, collectively contributing to our knowledge hub.
Transit through CIS/Middle Corridor as alternative route:
The first morning kicked off with a presentation from Mr. Kemal Karaoglu from our member At-abraý/ Turkmenline. Given the impact of the current Ukraine – Russia conflict and EU sanctions against Russia, many companies pulled out from using the rail route connection via Russia and turned their attention to the so called “middle corridor”, connecting China and Turkey via the CIS region. In his presentation, Mr. Karaoglu gave a detailed overview of the current situation in the Black Sea and Caucasus region and discussed the feasibility and challenges along the Middle Corridor.
As both Ukrainian and Russian sea ports on the Black Sea shut down all commercial activities, only the European ports towards the southern half of the Black Sea remain open. Rates are high as ship owners weigh the risks of steering into this sensitive region. Strategically situated in the middle, Turkey can easily handle both cargo from Europe and the CIS region. In addition, the port of Poti, Georgia is proving to be a financially viable solution too.
The question for the feasibility of the Middle Corridor usually boils down to three things, price, capacity, and transit time. At the same time, a rail centered solution and a multi-modal solution leveraging short sea connections, rail, and inland trucking each have their pros and cons. Undoubtfully, the rail capacity along the Middle Corridor cannot replace the volume that originally went along the China-EU Express Rail via Russia, in addition, transit times are also relatively long. Combining it with multimodal solutions can increase the capacity and also reduce transit time, however extra handling can also be an issue for some clients. Turkmenline mediates some of the issues caused by this leveraging their own SOC containers available in the region, as well as own trailers and railway platforms. Using outbound cargo from China as an example, rail from China to Ashgabat takes ca. 20 days, another 10 days is needed to get to Turkey, and from there on further European destinations can can be reached within days. This tallies up to a total transit time of over 30 days, which could be a feasible solution for those looking for a second option as to sea freight.
Ocean freight prices are still extremely high and port congestions alongside vessel delays make life extremely difficult for everyone. In such a timing, the Middle corridor has much potential. Mr. Karaoglu further points out the need for an increase in capacity over the Caspian Sea region, as well as the need to develop a better railway infrastructure in Turkey, as currently there is only one line from Kars to Sivas.
Empowering In-Transit Visibility:
The second presentation was hosted by our partner for cargo tracking and supply chain transparency: Tive Inc. As the world supply chain and logistics industry continue to battle through the impacts of Covid-19, the Ukraine–Russia crisis has obviously elevated the situation. In such time, having transparency into ones supply chain becomes more important than ever, which is why an effective solution such as Tive can come in handy. Presented by Mr. Dennis Perjet, VP of Sales and Channel Partners at Tive, we explored the solutions that they can provide to minimize operational problems and find solutions to rapidly changing situations in these unexpected times.
In virtue of new tracker technologies, real-time location tracking can be done like never before. Tives tracking devices and client interface allows companies to not just see where the cargo is, but also follow other spectrums such as temperature, humidity, shock/drop, and if the container is opened by tracking the amount of light captured. Such solutions are traditionally popular within the cold chain, for pharmaceuticals, perishables and also high value goods. As soon as the trackers are activated, the information gets transmitted into the cloud. Thus, analytics, insights, and monitoring reports can be obtained for the whole process. This info chain not only provides transparency for customers to follow their sensitive cargo, but also provides insights as to what can and needs to be improved. In certain cases, the information can also be used to support insurance claims and pinpoint where the problem occurred.
For New Silk Road and beyond, we are confident that such a solution can be of value to our members, as they take care of their customers cargo from A to B.
As our 2nd Spring Social event came to an end, we want to thank Mr. Kemal Karaoglu from At-abraý/ Turkmenline and Mr. Dennis Perjet from Tive Inc. for their presentations. And of course, we would like to thank you, our valued New Silk Road Network members for participating in our Spring Social event. We are looking forward to hosting you all in person at the exquisite W – The Palm Hotel in Dubai from the 21st to the 24th of September, 2022.
For details about the Annual General Meeting in Dubai, please check our event page here.