MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Cargo volumes traveling between Russia and China have been growing rapidly, with Russian haulers set to benefit greatly from the new route that will cut the distance between western Russia and southern China by over 1,000 kilometers (600 miles).
"The signing is planned as early as December this year…According to preliminary estimates, the cargo flow will increase 17-20 percent due to the rearrangement of transport movement. Later, increases of 10 percent per year are possible, which is, in general, in tune with the average yearly Russian-Chinese foreign trade increase," Dvoinykh told the Izvestia newspaper.
Currently, traffic between the two countries is restricted to bordering regions and may only take place along international routes.
The new agreement will allow Russian cargo carriers to reach Beijing and the port city Tianjin in contrast to the current practice of hauling cargo to the nearest border town, according to Dvoinykh.
Cargo volumes, which have amounted to 1.9 million tonnes in the first eight months of this year and have already surpassed total figures for 2015, have been substantially driven by Russian agricultural and processed food exports to China, as well as wood exports, the automobile agency head added.
Cargo traffic between Russia and China is also set to increase further to the east. Earlier this month, Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said that the Amur Bridge Project connecting Russia and China will be completed by 2018.