This study examines the development of trade between the EU and Russia as well as between the EU and Asia, main transport connections and their development outlook, current and future transport volumes and the position of Finland. Transport volumes are affected by the growth of trade between the EU and Russia, which depends on the political development and economic growth of these areas as well as the development of other economic areas in the world. The position of the route through Finland is strengthened by, for example, the growth of trade in valuable goods and increase of unit load transport.
These types of goods demand good level of logistics services and they are not sensitive to cost differences between routes. In the long run, the possible WTO-membership of Russia and the strong growth of Russian trade can maintain the significant position of Russian transit traffic volumes. In addition to Finland, primarily the Baltic countries also compete on these volumes. The important factors of competition in Finland in the future will include the level of logistics and infrastructure, value added services and environmental aspects. The Germany–Poland-route has a great potential as a direct ground transport connection between Russia and the central areas of the EU. Investments on the infrastructure of the route will promote its competitiveness.
The subject of study in freight transport between the EU and Asia was the Trans-Siberian railway, which has a connection to routes between the EU and Russia. The considerable growth of population, economy and production in Asia during the next 20 years will promote trade between the EU and Asia. The share of valuable unitized cargo will grow which will increase the demand for rapid container transport. In Europe, the capacity and operability of the Trans-Siberian railway is at its best on the rail section north of Moscow. Thus, the route through Finland has good possibilities of acting as the logistics centre of the extension of this railway.
The objective of this work is to examine the eastbound traffic and transport connections of the EU in the changing economic, political and logistics environment,
and the position of Finland in this development. More detailed goals include:
1. Evaluation of the most significant changes in the operating environment and economy which will affect international freight transport
2. Examination the current status and development views of the most important
freight transport connections between the EU and Russia as well as the EU
and the Far East and
3. Evaluation the position of Finland as a transport route between the EU and Russia.
In obtaining an overall view and support for conclusions, this report examines the
future development of the agglomerations of world economy and related trade and
cargo flows. From this point of view, the development of the economies of the EU
and Russia, as well as trade and cargo flows between them, have been evaluated
in more detail. The transport policy of the EU and Russia has will have an impact,
for example, on the future supply of infrastructure and the level of service of
transport routes, which again will affect the route choice of freight transport. Also,
the impacts of the development trends in logistics on route choice have been analysed.
The current status and development views of the most important transport routes between the EU and Russia have also been described in the report for evaluating the competitiveness of alternative transport routes.
From the viewpoint of internal reforms of Russia, the Transport Strategy has
many modern goals:
- A main transport network will be developed in Russia which will support the economic integration of the country
- The transport infrastructure for foreign trade throughout the country will be made more versatile for securing international competitiveness
- Growing export of logistics services, improving the competitiveness of Russian operators and the utilisation of the transit potential of the country
- are considered very important
- The gap between increasing car ownership and the development of a transport network will be narrowed by quick improvements in the road network
- This will simultaneously promote the growth of road transport, mobility of people and the extension of good transport connections throughout the country
- Furthermore, the principle of sustainable development should be considered in transport.