Cargo Ships to Sail Volga-Caspian Canal Starting 2024

Cargo Ships to Sail Volga-Caspian Canal Starting 2024
Cargo ship on the Volga River, Russian Federation (Photo:

Vessels with a draft of more than 4 meters are scheduled to start transiting the Volga-Caspian shipping channel in 2024, according to the Türkmenawtoulaglary (Turkmen Road Transport) Agency of Turkmenistan. The agency's report cited the speech delivered by First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Andrei Belousov during the plenary session titled "Russia 2035: towards a new transport economy" at the "Transport Week - 2023" forum in Moscow, Russia. The forum, which took place from November 11 to November 17 this year, focused on discussing various aspects of the transportation industry and its prospects.

Andrei Belousov highlighted the extensive scope of work involved in the project, which would require significant efforts from various stakeholders. However, he emphasised that the Volga-Caspian shipping channel would have a transformative impact on the economics of cargo transportation in the region. Andrei Belousov also mentioned that shippers are already interested in utilizing this route to transport goods to Iran.

Sergey Pylin, the CEO of Rosmorport (Russian seaport) Federal State Unitary Enterprise, stated that over 10 million cubic meters of soil were excavated during the deepening process of the Volga-Caspian shipping channel. The company reported that 18 ships of different types were involved in the project. 

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Energy of the Astrakhan region has reported a notable increase in cargo turnover at Russian ports within the Caspian basin since the start of 2023. Specifically, the Astrakhan ports experienced a growth rate of 58 percent, the port of Olya saw a 15 percent increase, and the port of Makhachkala saw an 18 percent increase. 

According to the report, the reconstruction of the Volga-Caspian Maritime Shipping Canal (VCMSC) to increase its capacity was scheduled to be completed by 2027. 

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