Russia’s has removed restrictions on transportation of perishable products via train through Russia to third countries, e.g. China, which may bring big savings to the way for instance salmon from Norway will reach China.
Norwegian salmon farmers could see their transport costs to Asia cut by 80%, following this change in Russian regulations. Same goes for flowers from the Netherlands.
“It is a huge breakthrough”, said Micael Blomster, one of the persons behind the project to re-open this transportation mode.
“Russia has just changed the laws for fish transport and other foods by truck and train. Now they allow containers of fish to enter Finland and being shipped out again in Kazakhstan. The new laws will open up completely new opportunities for transporting goods between Narvik (in Northern Norway) and China,” said Blomster.
Blomster works together with Finnish Kouvola Innovation to increase the flow of goods between China and the Finnish city of Kouvola, and according to him, Ofotbanen, Narvik and the ice-free Atlantic harbour are an important piece to make this happen.
According to Blomster the law change is “a major breakthrough”. He believes the first containers with salmon from Northern Norway to Narvik can be shipped before Christmas.
Sanctions on various food and agricultural products were introduced in August 2014, shortly after the EU and US placed sanctions on Russia following events in Ukraine. The bans were on the EU, US, Australia, Canada and Norway on exporting fruit, vegetables, fish, dairy and meat products into Russia.
The first container train service with Norwegian salmon will start this autumn, via Russia to China, a journey that will take about two weeks.
“It is a huge breakthrough,” Micael Blomster, who has worked on the Scandinavian- China rail freight corridor, told Norwegian media. “This will reduce transport costs by about 80%. Currently salmon is exported by air.