With immediate effect, Astara Transit Terminal plc has appointed Prodvijeniye as General Agent for freight and project cargo moving between Russia, Iran and Iraq via the Astara border crossing.
Astara Transit Terminal President & CEO, Mr Jawad Kamel, says: “We are very pleased to appoint Prodvijeniye as our general agent and look forward to a long and professional relationship between our two companies. I am especially pleased to work with Mrs Baranova, Prodvijeniye General Director, who I am sure will do her utmost to secure us new and exciting business.”
Prodvijeniye is a leading Moscow-based freight group and will market freight capacity and project cargo shipments via Astara, Azerbaijan to Iran and Iraq for Russian manufacturers and distributors. Goods shipped by Prodvijeniye will arrive at Astara Transit Terminal by rail and be transhipped to trailers for onward delivery in the two countries. The company will also handle freight and project cargo being imported into Russia from Iran and Iraq through the Astara Transit Terminal, where goods brought by road will be loaded onto rail wagons for shipment to destinations throughout Russia and the CIS. Goods destined for movement over Russia for markets such as the EU and Scandinavian countries will also be managed by Prodvijeniye.
Mr Kamal adds: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Prodvijeniye team every success in their work to create traffic for Astara Transit Terminal.”
Astara Transit Terminal is a main gateway border facility connecting Europe, Russia and CIS countries by rail on the Azerbaijan-Iranian border. Freight forwarders moving cargoes between the main markets in Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS, Russia and Iran are increasingly turning to the Astara Transit Terminal as a favoured route. The facility was redeveloped in 2006 and is also proving its worth to Iranian importers. To the final destination in Iran and Iraq, the average transit times from cargo origin in Europe is between 18-22 days, or 16-18 days from the CIS and 12-15 days from Russia.
The terminal can handle all types of cargo, including break bulk, 20’ and 40’ containers (including heavy lift) and out of gauge cargoes up to 120 tonnes, within the rail-loading gauge.
According to Mr Kamal, the success of the terminal is down to “location, location, location.” He says: “Cargo moving through Astara Transit Terminal avoids the need to be sent either by sea to the Iranian Gulf ports or by road via Turkey. Other alternatives avoided are by rail via Russia to the Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan and then by conventional shipping to the Iranian port of Bandar Anzali or, during May to October only, the Volga River.
There is, of course, a longer rail route from Russia to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the Iranian border where transhipment could be made from Russian broad gauge to Iranian standard gauge rail wagons. All these routings are slower and more expensive than through Astara.
“For shippers in Iran, these alternatives are either more costly or not as efficient at a time when they are crying out for more freight capacity on routes to and from Europe. The Astara Transit Terminal cements the return of a vital Central Asian transport artery giving shippers faster transit times, as well as more direct and secure service,” Mr Kamal concludes.

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