November 17,2014: Ruscon, part of the GCS Group, is considering doubling the frequency of its weekly fixed day intermodal service from the port of Vostochniy in the Russian Pacific to Moscow.
The block train service, with a transit of just 11 days, has proved so popular with shippers from China and south-east Asia that it is already running close to capacity.
"The reliability and speed of the service, including our unique ability to deliver the containers to final consignees anywhere in Russia, has attracted both Russian importers and international customers," says Andrey Chernyshev, Director Sales of GCS.
The intermodal service, with a capacity of 154 TEU, was initially launched earlier this year mainly to offer shippers in the Moscow region a fast regular rail link to the Russian Far East via Khabarovsk.
"Since then we have also been building a customer base for a wide variety of cargo, including FMCG products, machinery and foodstuffs, on the westbound leg as well," explains Mr Chernyshev.
The train departs from port of Vostochniy, near the city of Nakhodka, every Sunday, arriving at the GCS-owned MANP terminal in Moscow 11 days later on a Thursday. The terminal has a fully equipped container yard, bonded storage and warehouses for container stripping if required, as well as a trucking fleet for on-carriage to end customers.
"Our intermodal service from Vostochniy is unique in that we offer delivery to the full range of final destinations in European Russia – from the north-west, including the port of St Petersburg, to southern Russia. These are both areas where Ruscon and GCS have many years of experience and expertise," he says.
GCS, one of the top ten container transport companies in Russia and the CIS, has invested heavily the MANP terminal, 45 km south-east of Moscow, since it acquired the facility in 2006. It offers regular intermodal services to a range of destinations in inland Russia, including the most remote provinces.
These rail services offer fast reliable links for shippers sending cargo to the Urals, Siberia and the Russian Far East, and also help ensure that producers in those areas have sufficient containers for export.
"We have been delighted with the response to our weekly intermodal service between Vostochniy and Moscow, so we are looking at launching a second service to meet demand," says Mr Chernyshev.
The total number of containers dispatched since the pilot run of that service in August is 1100 units or 1797 TEUs.