Most Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries have a low Logistics Performance Index (LPI). Out of 11 CAREC countries, eight hold places below 100 in the group of 167 countries, with only three at the top: China (27th), Kazakhstan (77th), and Pakistan (95th). A recent international study on the "Silk Road" reports the information. The document emphasizes that despite the existing problems, Central Asia is one of the most active regions globally, where the volume of cargo flows is increasing by double digits.
"Some promising studies predict that cargo flows in certain corridors could triple by 2050. Transit rail traffic between Europe and China, which was less than 7,000 TEU in 2010, increased to 150,000 TEU in 2016 and exceeded 300,000 TEU in 2019. The number of trains in the Eurasian rail freight sector increased from 308 in 2014 to 4,400 in 2018 (UIC 2020). About 98% of freight traffic between Europe and China travels by sea. The volume of cargo that, due to its sensitivity to nature and time, can shift from maritime transport to rail via the land corridor connecting Asia and Europe is estimated by the Eurasian Development Bank at 5.4 million TEU. About 70% of the volume of cargo transported by land between China and Europe will pass through the two border checkpoints between Kazakhstan and China, and only 30% will be served by the Trans-Siberian and/or Trans-Mongolian Railway. But the railways of the Russian Federation are also busy transporting from Japan and the Republic of Korea to Europe and backward," the study said.
It also clarifies that existing infrastructure development plans in CAREC countries are likely to improve connectivity and effectiveness. However, it may be insufficient to ensure overall economic growth in the future.
"Infrastructure development planning and practice in most CAREC countries are characterized by certain shortcomings and is subject to political decisions, which may lead to unreasonable redistribution of resources," the review reads.