A recent study by the global consulting company Capgemini (the Netherlands) examines how the retail sector is driving logistics developments in Russia. Capgemini's Logistics Map of Russia details where the main cities and regions of Russia are in terms of logistics development and market potential. The research also examines Russia's ambition to become a gateway to Europe for Asian products, the importance of the rail transport in Russian logistics, and the underdevelopment of container freight.
While development of logistics was initially the most active in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg--the two major markets of Russia--Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg, the two largest cities of Siberia, are actively developing their logistics and transport infrastructure to accommodate the needs of expanding retail chains.
Major Russian and international retail chains, expanding to large cities create great opportunities for service providers to grow their business and stress the necessity to improve the transport infrastructure. However, many investment projects are developing very slowly or are on hold due to a long investment decision process of the government, or issues with land or infrastructure ownership.
Train is a much more important transport mode in Russia compared to Western Europe, due to enormous distances. Existing train connections between Asia and Europe through Russia (Transsib Railway) is key to the Russian ambition to increase the transit flow of Asian goods. The lack and the poor state of train rolling stock, together with the monopolistic position of the Russian rail network operator makes companies in many cases favor the road transport even in case of large distances.
Capgemini's research was based on interviews with main logistics market players in Russia, logistics publications and analytical reports.