Operators asked to take into account comments on Deng Xiaoping’s hub

Largest logistics operators have arrived at the construction site of the logistics complex in Alabuga and pointed out design faults

Operators asked to take into account comments on Deng Xiaoping’s hub
Photo: realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

As Realnoe Vremya found out, the main operators and service companies of the tank container industry proposed to make adjustments to the infrastructure of the largest logistics hub named after Deng Xiaoping worth 56 billion rubles. They ask to provide the conditions of the world's best logocentres with amendments to the climatic conditions of our country, as well as the declared scope of work with cargo flows. Operators consider it necessary to change the railroad sidetracks: in particular, to abandon the use of roller systems, as well as to adjust the organisation of processes inside the proposed washing and steaming station. According to them, the elimination of shortcomings will help to establish technical processes more effectively and significantly reduce the costs of operating activities.

SIBUR, KAMAZ, and Chinese manufacturers of household appliances

SIBUR, KAMAZ, and Chinese manufacturers of household appliances are very much waiting for the commissioning of the Deng Xiaoping logistics terminal, because it will be associated with a powerful progress in the qualitative development of both domestic petrochemistry and the Russian automotive industry. The business mission of representatives of large logistics companies and service services of the tank container industry to the site of the Deng Xiaoping logistics hub under construction finished a few days ago.

The representatives of the companies Far-Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO), Ruslinkcargo, Tank Container Service, KriCon arrived to give an expert assessment of the infrastructure facilities under construction of the first stage of the logistics hub in Alabuga. Specialists from more than 10 logistics and forwarding companies, owners of repair depots and specialised services, who have advanced experience and expertise in the field of creating logistics solutions and successful practices of maintaining a tank container fleet, have arrived, TCW, an information and analytical agency in the field of tank container transportation, told Realnoe Vremya.

The key shipper in containers and tank containers from the hub will be SIBUR, as well as KAMAZ and Chinese manufacturers of household appliances Haier and Midea, the agency stated. The unification of cargo owners of different profiles is connected with the need to loop logical chains in the direction of China to get rid of idle traffic on the way back to Russia. According to the hub's concept, petrochemical products (rubbers, propylene, etc.) will be exported, and in the opposite direction — auto components and components for household appliances will be imported. Under this scheme, the logocentre was placed next to the Ethylene-600 industrial park, the total investment in the project is estimated at 1,3 trillion rubles.

realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

Why Deng Xiaoping's name immortalised

The main source is the tax payments of residents of the special economic zone, which are reinvested in the infrastructure of industrial clusters according to the decree of the government of the Russian Federation No. 1119. It is no secret that this mechanism was “pushed” by the rais of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov. In world practice, the principle of reinvesting taxes in infrastructure was first introduced in his country by the Chinese reformer, Deng Xiaoping. That is why the management of Alabuga decided to perpetuate his name, since the Tatarstan zone borrowed this model of development.

According to the programme, by the end of 2024, railway infrastructure, container platforms, a frame-box warehouse should be built as part of the construction of the first stage of the hub worth 20 billion rubles.

The initial project documentation of the logistics complex was not published in the public domain and was examined without taking into account the opinions of the main logistics operators, sources told Realnoe Vremya. Although the general contours, design capacities for cargo handling, and the layout of the main structures were presented by the leadership of the special economic zone at the TCL 2023 conference within the framework of the TransRussia 2023 exhibition, there was no excursion into specific technical plans for cargo handling.

“The Deng Xiaoping Logistics Hub is a huge space of warehouses and terminals, where a complex of cargo handling operations of 8,5 thousand tonnes will be carried out. TEU. Much attention was paid to the presentation of the logistics complex and a detailed analysis of the functioning of individual infrastructure facilities of the hub — cargo transshipment point, service centres, washes," Kirill Boltaev, the director general of Tank Container World agency, chairman of the working group of the Russian Agricultural Association on tank container transportation, told Realnoe Vremya.

realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

What shortcomings discovered by tank container operators

“But the devil is in the details, and the participants of the discussion, dissecting the problems, in their conversations and speeches quite often turned to typical and potential mistakes, as well as to the most interesting solutions in world practice," Kirill Boltaev noted.

According to him, during the expert meetings, technical specialists proposed to adjust the work scheme of the hub. Firstly, it was proposed to optimise the internal logistics of the terminal, taking into account the structure of incoming cargo flows and expand access to the maximum of services with minimal movement through the logistics complex. Secondly, they asked to limit the use of a roller system for moving to the place of tank container handling.

“In their understanding, dirt, snow and debris should be removed at the stage of preliminary washing, and the washing process itself should consist of two stages — preparatory and main ones. They propose to locate the container repair shop in close proximity to the depot and the wash, which will reduce the staff and produce a high-quality layout of the necessary equipment. It is necessary to provide for the dispatch of liquid chemical cargoes by separate wagons at the stage of design work on the terminal commissioning. These comments should be taken into account during construction," the head of the RSX working group on tank container transportation believes.

“Building so that one doesn't have to redo”

“It is important to build in such a way that it does not have to be redone and retaining the potential for the development of the basic infrastructure of the complex. First of all, the time and service requests of shippers for the processing and dispatch of tank containers should be fully taken into account. The terminal's operating regulations should be based on the most stringent safety and environmental requirements. Convenient location of the logistics terminal named after Deng Xiaoping is able to provide operators and forwarders of domestic petrochemical cargoes with good access to the existing plants of the country," says Roman Samoilovich, the head of the logistics department at KriCon PLC.

According to him, from the point of view of logistics of the new terminal, we can say that “it is excellent, from the position of the announced services — there are also interesting ideas”. In particular, in the absence of serious proposals in the region on the areas of operation of washing and steaming stations, the project will be extremely in demand and will be able to solve many problems, he is sure.

realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

It is already important to organise the work with water treatment departments to implement effective and environmentally friendly solutions both on site and within the management of regional treatment facilities, believes Oleg Temnov, the technical director at Orlov production team:

“In our country, we quite often encounter the desires of the state to “do good” to businesses with smart reforms, correct directives. Everything seems logical and good, and there should be a result, but there is none, or it is not the same, or insignificant. But I will tell you: there is no good result, because everything has been decided for businesses everywhere, and hey are not even involved — they were not even asked what is needed and how they see the solution to the problem. Serious progress is impossible without effective feedback," Kirill Boltaev concluded.

Russian Railways Logistics and TransContainer in the hub

Timur Mingazov, the deputy director general for interaction with residents, development of engineering potential and operation, told our publication about the logistics partners of the hub. The operator of the access roads is Russian Railways Logistics, the formats of interaction with FESCO are being discussed. A contract for container terminal services has been signed with TransContainer. After commissioning, the logistics centre will provide TransContainer PJSC customers with end-to-end service with a range of freight forwarding services, including the supply and cleaning of fitting platforms with containers, loading and unloading operations, terminal operations, and the formation of container trains.

The expected volume of loading is 600 TEU per month, unloading is 1,200 TEU per month. Among the key tasks for the logistics complex within the terminal, it is planned to implement a unique offer for processing and shipping a wide range of tank-container cargo (petrochemistry), as well as agricultural products.

realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

What Deng Xiaoping logocentre will be like

What is the logistics hub in numbers? Its area is 65 hectares, the length of the path is 1,220 metres. In fact, it will be located between Naberezhnye Chelny and Nizhnekamsk in close proximity to the M7 federal highway, as well as the stations Nikashnovka and Krugloye Pole, served by the Kuybyshev Railway (a branch of Russian Railways JSC).

Four container platforms with a total capacity of 8,5 thousand tonnes are provided on the territory of the logistics complex. TEU, provides for the placement of a customs support department, a depot, a box for in-depth inspection of containers, a temporary storage warehouse for cars, a checkpoint and other premises. The entire complex is planned to be commissioned and put into operation in 2025.

The first objects of the future logistics hub are to appear next year. We are talking about the railway infrastructure, the container site, as well as the main box of the warehouse. It is planned to build 6 railway tracks at the terminal, which will be able to handle 3 container trains per day with a loading front of 74 conventional wagons, or 1,050 metres. If it is possible to simultaneously receive and process two trains at once completely without splitting, the unloading time of one train will be 3 hours. The total area of the container site will be more than 60 thousand square metres, stacking of containers will be possible in 4+1 tiers.

The warehouse complex of the logistics hub will include a warehouse of A category for 100 thousand square metres, a warehouse for temperature cargo, a warehouse for 3PL for 150 thousand pallet places, a warehouse for the needs of e-commerce for 500 thousand cells, as well as a warehouse for hazardous goods — 5,7 thousand square metres, and cross-docking — more than 4 thousand square metres.

realnoevremya.ru screenshot of Alabuga SEZ's video/vk.com/sezalabuga

The idea of creating such a large logistics complex arose shortly after one of the largest carriers in the world, Maersk, withdrawn Russia, recalled Timur Mingazov, the deputy director of the management company of Alabuga SEZ. According to him, the instability of supplies forced manufacturers to buy raw materials for the future. On the one hand, during this period there was a frenzied demand for storage facilities. On the other hand, the transportation of Chinese goods and raw materials became more expensive, and their waiting time is unpredictable.

Cargo traffic from China went through the eastern land border crossings and Vladivostok. With the developed infrastructure at the western border crossings, in St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk, Russia faced an acute problem of the lack of modern infrastructure of the terminals of Zabaikalsk and Khorgos. According to the forecast of Mingazov, with an obvious shortage of container terminals with a cargo turnover of 60 thousand containers in the Trans-Amur zone, after all stages of the implementation of the Deng Xiaoping logistics complex project, its capacity will amount to 100 thousand containers per year.

Luiza Ignatyeva