Land, sea routes to Russia tested

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Kyodo) A freight train carrying Japanese-made roof tiles left Vladivostok on Sunday for Moscow to test whether the overland route using the Trans-Siberian Railway is quicker than the shipping route via the Mediterranean Sea.

The test is aimed at checking how long it takes to transport commodities from Hamada port in Shimane Prefecture to western Russia when using a regular container cargo ship from Hamada to Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian Railway, transport ministry officials said.

The trans-Siberian route is expected to take as little as about 30 days, compared with around 50 days for the sea route from Hamada port to western Russia, the officials said.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is keen on proving the competitive advantage of the trans-Siberian route to motivate more companies to use the container service from Hamada to Vladivostok, they said.