Thanks to their reliability, safety, and efficiency, freight trains from China and Europe have become a kind of lifeline during the pandemic, as the numbers indicate. In any case, in 2020 alone, in the most difficult year for all of us, 12,500 trips were made on the China–Europe route. Compared with last year, the volume of goods transported increased by 56% — Rashid Alimov, Professor, Taihe Institute; Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, (2016 - 2018).
During the pandemic, rail transport has proven to be the most resistant to various kinds of restrictions. The growth rates of transportation and the prices for the transportation of goods have remained stable. According to Russian Railways, railways transported about 25–30% of the total volume of container transit between China and Europe during the period of epidemiological restrictions. The current situation not only creates obstacles for us, but also provides opportunities for the development of land transport in order to expand the volume of mutual trade by combining our efforts — Vladimir Norov, Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Transit and railway volume of Eurasian traffic has seen rapid growth over the past five years. [...] We said that we would surpass the milestone of 500,000 containers by 2020. As of the end of 2020, UTLC ERA [United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Railway Alliance] had already passed this mark. [...] If the SCO designated 2022 as the year of ecology and sustainable development of railways in Eurasia, I think this would add new points of growth and new traffic volumes — Alexey Grom, General Director, Chairman of the Management Board, United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance.