Russia paves its own way: prospects for transport and logistics industry development

​​​Established routes and logistic chains familiar to Russia began to rapidly transform in early 2022. In just a few months, supply chains have changed drastically: flows that previously went to and from Europe are now directed to the East. Under the current circumstances, Eastern transport and logistics companies have every chance to occupy the vacated niches in the Russian market.

Global Turn to the East

Until recently, Russia has been actively trading with European countries. The beginning of 2022 brought drastic changes to Russian-European trade relations. In February-April, the EU countries imposed restrictions on the activities of Russian auto, air and maritime transport operators. International logistics companies had to stop cooperation with Russia: Maersk, DHL, UPS, FedEx, MSC, CMA CGM and others.

The consequence was the final turn of Russia to the East, towards cooperation with the countries of the Near, Middle and Far East. A significant reduction was experienced by the volume of cargo going through the ports of the Baltic. Now they go through the Far East, Turkey. Indicative in this vein is the statistics on the turnover of containerized cargo. In the west of Russia, in the Baltic basin, it decreased by 18.4%, while in the Far East, on the contrary, it increased by 20.7%.


By June 2022, about 700 Russian companies have redirected the export of their products to Eastern countries. A number of Russian transport and logistics companies notice a significant increase in the number of flights to Iraq and Turkey.

Promising cooperation

  • Russia – China

Russian business has previously actively interacted with the Chinese side, and 2022 has further strengthened this partnership. Thus, the volume of traffic from China during this time increased by 40%. The number of flights with consolidated cargoes is growing, and commercial agency is becoming more and more popular. Chinese container carriers COSCO and OOCL are in an advantageous position. Overall, trade with China in 2022 increased by 29.3% year-on-year to a record $190 billion.

A characteristic feature in the field of transport and logistics cooperation between Russia and China is a noticeable sag towards the use of railways against sea, air and motor transport which is experiencing problems.

  • Russia – Turkey

In the current conditions, according to Farid Madani, General Director of the Delovye Linii Group of Companies, «Turkey acts as a transit bridge between Russia and Europe. The routes work perfectly, goods of various categories are brought to our country - from consumer goods and food products to machine tools, high-precision electronics, spare parts for automotive and agricultural equipment, raw materials». In 9 months of 2022, trade between Russia and Turkey doubled, reaching $47 billion. Thus, Turkey has already become one of the most important trading partners for Russia.

  • Russia – Kazakhstan

Food products are delivered to Russia through Kazakhstan, including goods from southern countries. By April 2022, the growth in road transit volumes increased by 2.5 times. Kazakhstan's membership in the EAEU enables customs clearance of goods in the country and their delivery to Russia. For 9 months of 2022, the trade turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan increased by 5% compared to the same period of the previous year.

In addition to these countries, channels for the goods import are developing through India, Pakistan and the CIS countries. Countries with large air hubs (Uzbekistan, UAE) are developing cooperation with Russia in the field of cargo delivery by air. The transition of Russian consumers to goods produced in eastern countries will further strengthen this trend.

Given current trade flows and new supply chains, companies from Eastern countries have all the opportunities to develop in the Russian market.


Opportunity for Eastern logistics companies – legalization of «parallel imports»

In March 2022, the Government of the Russian Federation legalized parallel imports, which is the importat of goods into the country even without the consent of the manufacturer or copyright holder. This measure makes it possible to partially cover the shortage of goods that occurred as a result of a sharp decline in Russian imports. By November 2022, the volume of parallel imports has reached $17 billion, and 2 million tons of critical goods were brought in.

Incentives for the development of transport logistics within Russia

  • Growth of the e-commerce segment

Against this background, significant prospects are arising in the field of small-sized transportation. Representatives of online commerce are interested in the road transportation development – online stores and marketplaces and such industry giants as Wildberries and Ozon, in particular. Warehouses, sorting centers and pick up points of the latter are opening all over the country. The growth in popularity in the Russian regions of the express delivery format from warehouse to door will also contribute to the development of road transportation.

  • Growing popularity of fulfillment services

There is a growing demand in society for faster last mile deliveries. Almost every e-commerce business has it, and it is becoming more and more popular within enterprises. At the same time, improving delivery on the last mile is impossible without the development of additional services. This is storage, packaging, all stages of interaction with the client and the entire process of sending and receiving a parcel. The implementation of these tasks is much easier to transfer to fulfillment operators, which will stimulate the growth of their number.

  • Development of infrastructure

Transport infrastructure is actively developing in Russia, aimed at increasing trade with eastern countries. This, for example, is the M-12 Moscow-Kazan highway, which will be put into operation at the end of 2023. It will expand Russia's trade opportunities with China and Kazakhstan via Kazan and Novosibirsk.

In June 2022, the Kanikurgan checkpoint, located on a new bridge across the river Amur, began to work, connecting Russia and China. The technical modernization of the railway checkpoint in Zabaikalsk was carried out. New warehouse spaces are being built to serve the inner logistic services expansion even in the remote regions. For instance, 100 000 sq A-class warehouse will be built on the Sakhalin Island.

  • Government support for the industry

The Russian government has decided to provide financial support to the transport industry in the amount of 511.5 billion rubles. Also, backbone enterprises can receive loans up to 10 billion rubles at a preferential rate . Representatives of state authorities in Russia consider the stable operation of the transport complex one of the prerequisites for the functioning of the state.

Thus, although the transport and logistics industry in Russia is facing serious challenges, at the same time it has significant incentives for growth.

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