“1520” – Prominent Rail Forum in Tallinn

"1520" – Prominent Rail Forum in TallinnOn 9-10 February 2010, Tallinn hosted The II International Rail Forum known as “1520”, where the future trends of the regional rail business and transit trade were discussed. The Forum “Strategic Partnership 1520: The Baltic Sea Region” was a landmark event for the Estonian transit trade. One of the most outstanding speakers at the event was Mr. Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, a state owned company of our Eastern neighbours, who incidentally was also one of the main initiators and conveners of the forum.

The participants hailed from post-Soviet states as well as from Finland and other countries where the broad-gauge track of 1520 mm is used (the name of the forum derives from this measurement). In addition to the rail operators, the participants included cargo owners, forwarding agents, terminal operators etc. The significance of the forum to the Estonian transit sector and economy in general was highlighted by the fact that the event was opened by Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia and for example Mr. Juhan Parts, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications as well as Mr. Edgar Savisaar, Mayor of Tallinn were among the attendees. Port of Tallinn was one of the major sponsors of the forum.

China’s Lianyungang Port at Port of Tallinn

On 4 March 2010, the delegation of Lianyungang Port Group Ltd and Shipping China under the leadership of the Chairman of the Lianyungang Port Group Ltd visited Port of Tallinn. It was a third meeting between the same parties with the objective of establishing an alternative rail freight forwarding route for cargo containers between China and Europe (so-called Land Bridge).

Chinas Lianyungang Port at Port of TallinnThe joint venture between Lianyungang Port and China Shipping Container Lines, which CEO was also a member of the delegation, has already launched a container train on the route between Lianyungang and Kazakhstan. Presumably in April, the cargo train route to Moscow will be opened. Considering that the only regular container train service from the Baltic States and Finland to Moscow is operated on the route between Port of Tallinn and Moscow, the chaining of transport corridors would present an opportunity to establish a unique rail connection between Lianyungang Port and Port of Tallinn, which would secure its own niche in the intercontinental transportation of time sensitive freight. Taking into consideration the difference in the delivery times in maritime cargo transport and rail freight forwarding, the estimated time saved when opting for Land Bridge in cargo transport for example on the route between any South-Korean port of departure and any Western European port of destination would be approximately 23 days, which is almost half of the duration of maritime cargo transport on the same route.

The enterprises attending the meeting (in addition to Port of Tallinn, EVR Cargo, Muuga CT from Estonia; CF&S, representing China Shipping in Estonia, and Petromaks Spediitori AS, representing Transkonteiner in Estonia) agreed to set up a joint task force for launching the Land Bridge and the ports and Shipping China signed a co-operation memorandum for the development of an electronic land bridge between Asia and Europe.

Tallinn receives recognition at Miami Cruise Fair

On 15-18 March 2010, the traditional international cruise industry exhibition and conference Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami 2010 was held in Miami, United States.

Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention has been an annual event since 1984. This year the CSM attracted over 11,000 attendees. Port of Tallinn was represented with a display in the joint exhibit of Cruise Europe, the marketing organisation of European Cruise Ports.

The 2011 cultural events in Tallinn generated a lot of interest. The Enterprise Estonia representation and the relevant brochures of the Tallinn 2011 Foundation proved to be most helpful.

During the CSM week, the Dream World Cruise Destinations Magazine recognised Tallinn with Best Destination Experience (Independent) award – in other words Tallinn was acknowledged as the best destination for independent sightseeing – “destination where the quality of the experience derives from passengers making their own arrangements for their time ashore”; the destination is selected by the representatives of major cruise lines based on the feedback received from their passengers. Such information is important for the end customer, who deems the destination convenience and security to be important in independent travel. In any case, this is a great recognition for Tallinn and also for the Port of Tallinn.