Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Train Ferry Rail Freight Service Tariff Promised

Ministers Sign Heads of Agreement for Black Sea Services
Shipping News Feature

TURKEY – UKRAINE – In a meeting on the 25th January an agreement to develop a common tariff for rail freight ferry links was signed by Ukrainian First Deputy Infrastructure Minister Kostiantyn Yefymenko and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the latter’s official visit. Each agreed to facilitate the transit of cargo via direct rail freight and ferry services across the Black Sea.

The intent is to utilise the ports of each country, principally Illichivsk near Odessa in Ukraine and Samsun on the Turkish side and from there feed through to Derince on the Gulf of Izmit alongside the Sea of Mamara from where there is access into the Aegean. A service crossing the Black Sea, with a mutually agreed tariff, obviates the need to transit Romania and Bulgaria to the West or Georgia and Russia on the Eastern shores.

Companies like UKR Ferry regularly transit between the two countries and can carry rail freight in addition to RoRo capability but now the two countries now have a preliminary framework at a governmental level, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Turkey and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, to establish a joint committee to pursue the rationalisation and expansion of rail borne freight between them.