From a geo-strategic point of view, the Republic of Bulgaria has a favourable geographical location that provides a great opportunity for its transformation into a transport bridge between Western and Central European countries, the Middle East, Western and Central Asia, as well as along the North-South direction. The mission of the Bulgarian transport sector is to achieve fully integrated, competitive and sustainable transport system that meets economic, social and environmental needs of the society. The sustainable development of the Bulgarian transport sector should create the necessary conditions for the economic and social development of our country, support the balanced regional development and speed up the country’s integration into the European Economic Area.
The Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications pursues policy, directed towards the creation of the necessary and appropriate conditions related to the transport logistics’ development. For that reason, one of the priority axes of both, the Operational Programme on Transport for the period 2007 – 2013 and the Operational Programme on Transport and Transport Infrastructure for the period 2014 – 2020, is the improvement of the intermodality for transportation of passengers and goods.
Port of Varna (www.port-varna.bg) includes terminals Varna-East (Total area – 342 961 m2, Berths – 13, Maximum depth – 11.5 m), Varna-West (Total area – 1 826 799 m2, Berths – 22, Maximum depth – 11.5 m), Ferryboat complex Varna (Total area – 378 662 m2, quay length – 200 m, including 2 berths, Depth – 8.7 m). All types of cargo are serviced in the port, including containers, general, bulk and liquid.
Port of Burgas (http://port-burgas.bg/en/) includes terminals Burgas-East 1 (Total area – 338 880 m2, Berths – 15, Capacity – 2 59 000 t, general cargo – 39%, bulk cargo – 61%), Burgas-East 2 (Total area – 419 468 m2, Berths – 9, depth – up to 15.5 m, Capacity – 9 350 000 t), Burgas-West (Total area – 562 785 m2, Berths – 6, Depth – 6.5-11.5 m, Capacity – 2 046 000 t and 64 264 TEU).
Inland waterways ports
Port of Ruse (http://www.port-ruse-bg.com/) includes terminals Ruse-East (Total area – 825 533 m2, Berths – 14, Depth – 2.5 m, Capacity ~ 2 500 000 t and 100 000 TEU), Ruse-West (Total area – 117 098 m2, Berths – 9, Depth – 2.5 m, Capacity ~ 491 000 t), Ruse-Centre (Total area – 11 799 m2, Berths – 3, Depth – 2.5 m).
Port of Vidin (http://portvidin-center.com) includes terminals Vidin-Centre (Total area – 18 261 m2, Quay length – 1440 m, Pontoons – 7, Depth – 2.5 m), Vidin-North (Quay length – 240 m, Berths – 3, Depth – 2.4 m), Ferryboat Complex Vidin (Total area – 2 851 m2, RO-RO ramps – width of 30-50 m), Vidin-South (Total area – 47 887 m2, Quay length – 200 m, Berths – 2, Capacity – 600 000 t).
Bulgaria possesses a well-developed aviation sector that offers modern services and infrastructure. It operates under the approved international and European rules and procedures. There are five international airports, that offer scheduled, charter, cargo and passenger flights to Europe, North Africa and Middle East: Burgas Airport (www.bourgas-airport.com), Varna Airport (www.varna-airport.bg), Plovdiv Airport (www.plovdivairport.com), Gorna Oryahovitza Airport (www.gornaoryahovitsa-airport.bg) and Sofia Airport (www.sofia-airport.bg) – the largest one in terms of traffic volumes and services. Twenty-six certified airfields operate in the country.
18 Bulgarian air carriers possess Community Certificates. The main carrier in scheduled passenger flights’ market is Bulgaria Air (www.air.bg). It offers direct flights to major part of Europe and to Lebanon and Israel in the Middle East. The Airline has a significant share in non-scheduled flights as well. The major Bulgarian carriers specialized in charter flights are:
- Bulgarian Air Charter (www.bgaircharter.com) – Founded in June 2000, mainly engaged in charter flights to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East in service of tourism industry.
- BH air (www.bhairlines.com) – Founded in 2000, the airline operates charter flights from Burgas and Varna airports to the UK, Scandinavia, Italy and other European countries as well as flights to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It successfully operates VIP flights.
- Air Via (www.air-via.com) – Established in 1990 the company operates non-scheduled flights in service of tourism industry. It offers a full range of passenger charter services as well as all type of aircraft lease.
- Cargo air (www.cargoair.bg) is a Bulgarian carrier specialized in cargo and mail flights. Established in 1997, it has operated B737 Freighters since 2008.
The available information related to container and block trains is as per 2013 and is as follows:
- 1 040 Block trains (with total net weight 590 thsd. tonnes)
- 599 Wagons with containers – import, export, transit and domestic (with total net weight 19,7 thsd. tonnes).
The main routes are from Germany and Austria to Turkey and vice versa and from Slovakia to Turkey and vice versa.
The above mentioned container-trains are operated on the Bulgarian territory by BDZ Cargo EOOD.
The logistics sector is vital for the effective and efficient functioning of the Bulgarian transport market.
The existing infrastructure in Bulgaria is well-developed and comprises 19 788 km. roads (incl. 5 Motorways connecting the Bulgarian logistics hubs with Black Sea, Turkey and Greece); 6 481 km railway lines (total length) with capability for loading/unloading cargo; 4 international airports; 2 major seaports on the Black Sea (Varna and Burgas) and 2 major river port complexes on the Danube (Vidin and Ruse) connected with the road and railway infrastructure. In addition, 3 ferry links are under operation – Varna – Ilyichevsk – Poti for wagons and trucks; Varna – Poti for wagons and trucks; Varna – Novosibirsk – Batumi for trucks (http://varnaferry.com/en).
As far as it concerns the development of logistic centres and terminals, it is worth to say that an intermodal (rail-road) terminal in Plovdiv is under construction. The major freight railway operators in Bulgaria manage their own private terminals.
The largest industrial zones are located in Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Ruse and Plovdiv, and the international trade companies LIDL and Kaufland have constructed their own logistics centres in Bulgaria
Transport and logistics business associations
- Bulgarian Association for Freight Forwarding, Transport and Logistics – http://nsbs.bg/en/home/
- Cluster Green Freight Transport – http://www.gftcluster.eu
- Association of Bulgarian Railway Carriers and Intermodal Operators – http://abzp.eu
- Association of the Bulgarian Enterprises for International Road Transport (AEBTRI) – http://www.aebtri.com
- Bulgarian Association of Road Transport Unions (BASAT) – http://basat.eu
- Bulgarian Association of Consulting Companies in Railway Construction (BACCRC) – http://www.bakfjs.org
- National Association “Society of Railway Track Engineers” – http://railwaytrackbgengineers.org/
- Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (BASBA) – http://www.basba.eu/en/
- Marine Cluster Bulgaria – http://www.marinecluster.com/en/
- Bulgarian Maritime Training Centre – http://www.bmtc-bg.com/
- Bulgarian Airlines Association – http://www.association-aba.org/
- National Association of Bus Transport in Bulgaria – http://www.nsapb.bg
The Bulgarian railway transport market is open for all licensed railway operators. At presence, 12 railway operators (11 for freight services and 1 for passenger services) operate at the Bulgarian transport market.
The 100% state-owned company National Railway Infrastructure Company (www.rail-infra.bg) is the manager of the railway infrastructure. The company is responsible for the development, modernization and maintenance of the railway infrastructure, and for providing equal access conditions to all the licensed carriers.
The railway operators with significant market share are the following:
- BDZ Passengers EOOD – http://www.bdz.bg/en – 100% state-owned company; the “historical” passenger railway carrier in Bulgaria
- BDZ Cargo EOOD – http://bdzcargo.bdz.bg/en – 100% state-owned company; the historical rail freight operator
- Bulgarian Railway Company AD – http://www.brc-bg.com
- DB Cargo Bulgaria EOOD – http://bg.dbcargo.com/rail-bulgaria-en/products_services/advantage.html
- Rail Cargo Carrier – Bulgaria EOOD – http://www.railcargocarrier.com/bg/About_us/Rail_Cargo_Carrier/index.jsp
- Bulmarket Rail Cargo – http://www.bulmarket.bg/train-services.html.
According to the data, provided by National Statistics Institute as of 2014, the road infrastructure of Bulgaria comprises 610 кm Motorways (3.1%); 2 965 km Ist class Roads (15%); 4 042 km IInd class Roads (20.5%) and 12 111 km IIIrd class Roads (61.2%).
The road transport in Republic of Bulgaria is the most popular transport, because of its flexibility, good for short distances and “door-to-door” services. Road Transport Administration (www.rta.government.bg), which is part of the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, is the responsible administration for that kind of transport.
There are a lot of licensed road transport operators in Bulgaria
- For international transport of passengers – over 1 000
- For international transport of goods – over 11 000
- For domestic transport of goods – over 4 000
- For domestic transport of passengers – over 500.
Ministry of Interior, Chief Directorate Border Police –
National Customs Agency – http://customs.bg/
Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, Border Control Directorate – http://www.babh.government.bg/
The existing railway border crossing points are as follows:
- Svilengrad – Kapukule (BG-Turkey)
- Kulata – Promahon (BG-Greece)
- Svilengrad – Dikea (BG-Greece)
- Dragoman – Dimitrovgrad (BG-Serbia)
- Danube Bridge at Ruse – Giurgiu (BG-Romania)
- Danube Bridge at Vidin – Kalafat (BG-Romania)
- Kardam – Negru Voda (BG-Romania).
The existing road border crossing points are as follows:
- Bulgaria – Greece: Kulata; Ilinden; Zlatograd; Ivaylovgrad; Kapitan Petko voyvoda; Makaza
- Bulgaria – Turkey: Kapitan Andreevo; Lesovo; Malko Tarnovo.
- Bulgaria – Romania: Vidin; Ruse; Kardam; Durankulak.
- Bulgaria – Serbia: Bregovo; Vrashka Chuka; Kalotina; Strezimirovtsi; Oltomantsi.
- Bulgaria – fYR Macedonia: Gyueshevo; Stanke Lisichkovo; Zlatarevo.
Ministry of transport of the country
Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication
Embassy of the country in the People’s Republic of China
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China
Address: Xiu Shui Bei Jie 4, Beijing – 10060, China
Telephones: +86 10 6532 1946; +86 10 6532 1916
Fax: +86 10 6532 4502
Оut-of-hours hotlines: + 86 10 6532 1916; + 86 10 6532 1946
e-mail address: Embassy.Beijing@mfa.bg