Russia’s economy booms, and cargo traffic piles up at Finnish border

Speaking of Australia’s problems getting our produce (or minerals and ores) out of our own ports,

Russia’s economy booms, and cargo traffic piles up at Finnish border


Russia’s economy is booming, and its hunger for new cars, televisions and machinery means that the transit routes through Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are clogged with trucks.

Because of this heavy trans-border traffic, Finland is now as large a trading partner for Russia as is the United States, but customs posts on the border are struggling to cope.

While the vehicles are stuck at the border, retailers in Russia and the transport firms are losing money and local people are scared to drive on the roads with one lane blocked by trucks.

The Finns blame the Russians for the queues, which are also a problem in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

I think my favourite part was this line:

Russians prefer to import goods through Finland to minimize theft – and because Russian harbors near St. Petersburg do not have enough unloading equipment or warehouses.

The amount of goods imported through Finland has doubled since 2002 to about three million tons in 2006, and Russia’s Transport Ministry admits that its officials cannot handle the growing number of vehicles.

Partly because it’s just plain amusing, but also because it leads me to wonder: at which border are the trucks with the – presumably – millions of tonnes of waste? Does Russia burn packaging? Recycle? Send it to Siberia? Are they using it to reclaim enough land to take the North Pole’s oil?

I wonder if Jim Kunstler has seen this story. And to think, we argue that America needs to invest in heavy rail…


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