GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român closes the last link in the Middle Corridor chain, by launching the naval route between Batumi/ Poti and Constanța ports

Bucharest, October 23, 2019 – GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR), GR Logistics & Terminals LLC (Georgia) and ASCO Logistic CJSC (Azerbaijan) signed in Tbilisi the Agreement establishing a Consortium that will operate regular shipping between the ports of Constanța and Batumi/ Poti.

The agreement represents another step by which the member companies of the Middle Corridor Association – the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route collaborate to intensify the flow of goods along this route.

In June, GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) and NMSC Kazmortransflot LLP, the National Sea Carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed a Memorandum of Partnership as part of the same project.

“One year after joining the Middle Corridor Association, we manage to activate the Batumi/ Poti – Constanța shipping route, which has a very important role for the freight transit from Asia to Europe – it is basically the last piece missing from the Middle Corridor chain,” Gruia Stoica, president of GRAMPET Group, said. “At the same time, the Tbilisi agreement brings us closer to our stated goal of launching the first rail freight transports between China and Western Europe that will transit Romania.”

Sorin Chinde, Vice President of the GRAMPET Group’s Transport Division, adds: “The lack of a direct naval connection between the Georgian ports and Constanta has so far been a major obstacle in attracting transports for Europe on this route. Alternative routes, which go through Istanbul or Piraeus, are non-competitive, because they have a transit time of 12 to 24 days. Once a permanent and regular connection between the ports of Georgia and Romania is launched, we can reduce this transit time by 5 days forth / 5 days back, so that the transit time between the Georgian ports and Constanta is reduced to 2 days”.

Under the Agreement, the consortium will operate a ship with a capacity of 144 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) or 72 FEU (Forty-foot Equivalent Unit), which will carry shipments 3 times a month.

The management team of the Consortium will be formed by Gruia Stoica – GRAMPET Group President, Lasha Akhalbedashvili – Director of GR Logistics & Terminals LLC, and Azer Mammedov, General Manager of ASCO Logistic CJSC.

GR Logistics & Terminals, a subsidiary of JSC Georgian Railway founded in 2009, provides international freight services by rail and sea – container and wagon transport, maneuvering services, customs services, storage, etc. The company operates two container terminals in Poti and Tbilisi ports.

ASCO Logistic CJSC (the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Closed Joint-Stock Company) was established by merging the country’s two largest fleets – the Azerbaijan State Caspian Sea Shipping Company and the Caspian Sea ​​Oil Fleet of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic. The company provides offshore support, and also operates merchant fleets and two shipyards.

GRAMPET Group – Grup Feroviar Roman is the largest private rail freight and logistics operator in Romania and Central and South Eastern Europe, and the first European company to have joined the Middle Corridor – Trans Caspian International Transport Route, last September.

The partners intend to develop the Middle Corridor route, which is an important link between East Asia and Western Europe through the Caspian Sea, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and to provide faster freight services using an alternative means of transport over the Black Sea.

About GRAMPET Group
Established almost 20 years ago, GRAMPET is today the largest private rail freight and logistics operator in Romania and Southeast Europe. Its 16-company structure is strategically designed to span the entire chain of rail transport solutions and products, thus offering clients an integrated experience at the highest level of competence: freight railway transport, building, repairs and upgrading of rolling stock, spare parts production, lease of rolling stock, freight transhipment, logistic services, as well as innovative IT solutions for railway operators.

With a declared objective to connect the Atlantic Ocean through the North Sea, to the Pacific, through the South China Sea, GRAMPET Group is one of the main drivers for the development of transport corridors that connect Europe to Asia.

Its flagship company Grup Feroviar Român (GFR) is one of the main rail freight operators in Romania and Southeast Europe. Currently, over 20% of traffic is international, with GFR offering complex logistic solutions to rail sector customers.

GFR is a member of all representative international organizations and has cooperation agreements with both state railway operators (BDZ Cargo, UZ, CFM, PKP Cargo, ZK, RCH, HZ Cargo, ZBIH) and private railway operators from Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Germany.

The Group’s companies Reva Simeria, Electroputere VFU Pascani, Reloc Craiova, and Electroputere VFU Craiova account for an important share of the Romanian rolling stock repairing market

In parallel, the group has an intense research and development activity, aimed at developing technical solutions that provide clients with a transparent and real-time experience. In 2017, GFR launched the E-CLIENT GFR portal, a first for Romania and Southeast Europe, which facilitates the management of the traditional carrier – customer-company relationship, from posting of orders to service invoicing, while going through essential stages such as ordering empty wagons, drafting transport contracts, providing unhindered access to process information, intelligent alert systems for decision-makers, and automated reporting.