TransContainer has launched a rai container service to carry hard bitumen. On January 28, a block train carrying 120 TEU left Ufa to Chengdu in China. The train is routed via the Zabaikalsk border crossing.
Previously, hard bitumen was carried in roofed railcars, however, containerized service proved more economically efficient as there is no need to move cargo from the Russian gauge to the Chinaese gauge, or rail onto trucks.
TransContainer plans the service as regular with at least two trains a month in future.