The Russian government has decided not to double tolls for federal road use as part of the Platon electronic toll collection system thanks to strikes and protests by truckers. The tolls will still increase 25 percent to 1.9 rubles ($0.033) per kilometer (0.6 miles) starting April 15th, the Journal of Commerce reports.
The lower level of increase makes it less likely that shippers will move volumes to Russian rail operators as some shippers and transportation analysts have predicted.
While the government has decided not to hike tolls as high as first planned, it may still tinker with toll rates and could introduce a system whereby truckers pay less the more miles they travel.
The lack of competition in the rail sector and the concerns over pricing have allowed trucking to become the dominant form of domestic cargo transportation in Russia, with 88 percent of the marked compared to rail’s 12 percent share.
Russia’s busiest domestic route, between St. Petersburg and Moscow, illustrates the cost advantages of trucking. It costs 42,000 rubles ($745) to move a container between those destinations, compared to 49,000 rubles ($870) by rail.
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