Middle Corridor on the Growth Pace

Jan 14, 2024

The Middle Corridor has emerged as a significant alternative to existing routes, with a total throughput capacity of 5.8 million tons of cargo annually. According to recent data, the volume of cargo transportation along the corridor surged by 88% in the first nine months of 2023, reaching an impressive 2 million tons.

 The volume of container traffic was 33’000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers, while the current potential of the Middle Corridor is 80’000 TEU containers.

 This highlights the growing demand and importance of this alternative route. Flanked by Russia and Iran, two sanctioned states, the Middle Corridor is essentially now the only accessible route by which Europeans can trade with the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia.

 Western sanctions against Russia have curtailed much of the East-West trade that had been occurring via the Northern route through Russia, leading to a revival of interest in the Middle Corridor passing through Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

 EBRD estimates that Central Asia requires a whopping 18.5 billion euros ($20.4 billion) for Middle Corridor infrastructure development projects. To put this into perspective, the transit container volume could increase from 33’000 TEUs in 2023 to 130’000 TEUs in 2040 under a business-as-usual scenario.

 TITR, The Astana Times