Anna K. Voronenko

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Aleksandr N. Gavrilov

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok  

Abstract: A number of factors and challenges of global, national and regional scale affect the current transport agenda in the Russian Far East. Today, the Far East is of particular importance as the Eastern transport gate and logistics hub of Russia, the newest center for servicing cargo flows for the spatial development of national economy. The geographic expansion and throughput capacity rise for the Far Eastern system of ports and the Eastern railway range is particularly relevant, as well as strengthening their interconnectivity and increasing the reliability of work. The development of the cargo base capacity in the Far East is possible through the implementation of many specific projects. At the same time, it is important to note that most of the existing projects are local in nature, planned and accomplished by private companies. Therefore, the planned transport routes are fragmented and can contribute to individual points of infrastructure and transportation growth, but not to the development of regional transport system and strengthening its reliability as a whole. The configuration of the transport framework and the distribution of cargo across the system can be significantly improved by introducing complex projects, which today are more like concepts or a maximum of pre-project studies. The construction of the railway line N. Bestyakh – Magadan in conjunction with the development of the Magadan seaport is one of such complex projects. The article provides a brief description of the project, taking into account the development of the Magadan seaport.Keywords: transport framework, forecast, transport infrastructure, cargo base, port system, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), backbone network, Magadan seaport, Yakutsk-Magadan railway line  


Today, the transport system in the Far East of Russia faces a number of problems affecting all modes of transport and relating to the transportation of both goods and passengers. Among them, we should note the insufficiency and uneven development of transport infrastructure, which, in particular, led to a shortage of railway capacity on the approaches to ports; an imbalance in cargo flows in different directions; the proximity of “clean” and “dirty” cargo, which hinders the development of transportation of high-tariff cargo; the underdevelopment of land border crossing points (BCPs); the unsuitability of a significant part of the transport infrastructure for “civilized” tourism. In general, today transport system in the Far East is not ready to integrate fully with international transport and commodity markets.

New challenges have emerged recently related to the tightening of the sanctions policy of Western countries against Russia. The consequence of this is the need to change the routes of goods movement with active turning from the Western (Russia – Europe) to the Eastern (Russia – Asia) directions. This requires the restructuring of all logistics services and necessitates further development of the transport system in the East.

In this regard, the following trends are expected to emerge and intensify:

In terms of the development of general logistics processes – a significant shift in national foreign trade logistics to the Russian Far East, to seaports through which export-import transportation is carried out and to BCPs on the border with China.

As regards the development of the railway infrastructure – an increase in demand for the development of the Eastern range of railways with access to the ports in the Far East and land BCPs;

As regards the development of port infrastructure – an increase in demand for the development of ports, creation of new land and sea services, training of specialists to work in the Arctic, the Northern Sea Route and the Far East basin.

In June 2022, a conference on the construction of the N. Bestyakh – Magadan railway “The Way to Magadan” was held in Yakutsk , as a result of which it was established that the construction of the Nizhny Vestyakh – Magadan strategic line should be ahead of the creation of capacities to involve the resource base in the area of gravity and the construction of the necessary regional railways (access roads). This project is designed to help improve the efficiency of domestic and international transport and logistics chains and ensure the geostrategic interests of Russia and solve the problems of strengthening national security.

Brief description of cargo gravitating to the transport system connecting Yakutsk with Magadan.

The formation of promising cargo flows that can pass through the Yakutsk – Magadan system of transport facilities will take place under the active influence of various economic, political, geographical and market trends. These factors are complementary, and form a complex of related reasons that contribute to the formation of a cargo base for the Magadan region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), both in general and for individual transport enterprises in particular.

The assessment of the cargo base was carried out in two stages. At stage one, the potential of the cargo base was determined (the maximum possible volume of transshipment under the most favorable conditions in the absence of infrastructure and other limitations). At the second stage, the updated value of the cargo base potential was determined in accordance with the most probable development scenario, which gave the final forecast estimate. At the same time, the degree of realization of the potential depends on the optimal location of the new port, its attractiveness, the effectiveness of land and sea logistics, and other economic, legal, political, etc. factors.

The cargo base for the system of transport facilities of the Yakutsk – Magadan railway and the seaport includes key nomenclature items: coal, ore, and general cargo.

The predictive assessment of the potential of the cargo base was done for two scenarios: pessimistic and optimistic. The pessimistic one assumes the development of transportation of only raw materials – coal and ore. The development of the potential for general cargo is possible only if certain conditions are met, as specified in the optimistic scenario, namely:

– general routing and selection of optimal routes for the movement of goods, taking into account the development of logistics functions for servicing territories;

– the Nagaeva Bay features the relatively complicated hydrologic environment, the organization of sustainable navigation there and on the approaches to the port of Magadan, as well as the organization of a well-developed ship servicing in port have been achieved; – development of distribution logistics and related services;

– common use of the transport infrastructure of different participants for effective integrated transport activities;

– joint digitalization of logistics and transport, including visualization of the movement of goods and ensuring the efficiency of cross-border and customs procedures;

– ensuring sanitary, veterinary and ecologic integrity of transport operations with minimal impact on the environment. Below we will consider in more detail the cargo flows gravitating to the port of Magadan: these are mainly coal, ore and general cargo.      

(End of introductory fragment)