Mongolia: a rail nation with potential

10. 02. 2021

Mongolia is known for its yurts, coal and expansive landscapes, but the country has a lot more to offer. Mongolia lies in East Asia, nestled between China and Russia. With a population of around 3 million living on 1.5 million km2 of land, it is one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world, however the country has a wealth of natural resources.

Mongolia is a land of extremes: mountains to the north, the Gobi Desert lies in the south, with great expanses of grassland in-between. The climate is also one of contrasts: Mongolia is one of the sunniest countries in the Northern Hemisphere, however, its winters are long with Arctic cold temperatures. Temperatures can vary as much as 32 degrees between day and night. 

Economically speaking, the country is moving from a centrally planned to a market-based economy. Its most important industries are nomadic pastoralism and mining. Mongolia exports goods such as cashmere, meat, copper, gold and coal throughout the whole world.  

Rail essential for goods transport

The Mongolian road infrastructure is still under development and has little significance for its inhabitants, who travel across the country primarily as nomads. Airplanes and trains are the most important modes of transport. The railways are utterly vital for freight transport.

The country’s railway network is approximately 1.815 km long. The most important arterial route is the Trans–Mongolian Railway, which runs from Russia to China. 90% of freight transport to and from neighbouring countries is handled on this route. Moreover, the railways also connect Mongolia’s key industrial cities such as Erdenet, Darchan and Baganuur. The rail network’s expansion is being advanced constantly, because there are plans to tap into further significant coal and ore deposits over the coming years. 

Our transport services in Mongolia

We have been operating on the Mongolian rail network since January 2021 and our first transport services run to Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. Over 50 containers set off by rail in the first weeks of the year and are enabling us to tap into the small, but very exciting, Mongolian market.