Eastern European Markets
March, 29. 2006

VR and Transcontainer establish joint venture for eastern container services

VR Ltd and Russian Railways subsidiary Transcontainer have signed a letter of intent to establish a joint venture by the end of June.

The new company will market container transport services to Russia, other CIS countries and, via the Trans-Siberian railway, to China, Korea and other countries in South-East Asia.

Setting up the joint venture will boost marketing of container services to Moscow that are being started up. The goal is to start a weekly service between Helsinki and Moscow this year.

Next year it is also planned to start fast container services between Finland and China. The journey to China would take 14-16 days, which is about half the time it takes by sea. At present containers travel on the Trans-Siberian line to the port of Nahodka, from where they are taken by ship to China.

In 2005 rail services transported altogether 125 000 TEU in container traffic between Finland and Russia. Some 80 % of the containers travelled between Finland and the Far East.

The greatest potential in container services lies in transport to Moscow, China and Korea.

Transcontainer is a subsidiary of Russian railway company OAO RZD that is responsible for container services. The company was established on 4 March 2006 and operates with 47 terminals, 23,000 container wagons and 48,000 containers. Last year Transcontainer transported 275,000 TEU.

TEU is a unit of measurement used in container transport that corresponds to one 20-foot container.

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