Navigating the Silk Road: Overcoming Logistics Challenges in Kazakhstan's Aluminium Industry

Ahlers Logistics was chosen to organize the logistics for furnace revamp project at Kazakhstan Aluminium Smelter JSC (KAS). It is the first and only producer of high-grade primary aluminium in Kazakhstan and is rightfully considered to be the flagship company in the domestic metals industry, while also ranking in the top ten of the world's 200 largest aluminium enterprises.

A total 12,500 MT of refractory materials were shipped in 460 x 20’DV containers from origins in India, Netherlands, and Germany up to final destination Pavlodar, Kazakhstan.

Balancing equipment procurement, mitigating transshipment bottleneck risks, and coordinating multiple stakeholders for efficient delivery pose significant challenges for the customer.

On top of it, due to geopolitical turbulence and effect of sanctions, both the customer and end receiver have tasked our team to use a route avoiding territory of Russia, which, in normal times would be the most optimal one. Ahlers has come up with an extensive plan to move all materials using a multimodal sea and rail corridor via the Caucasus region.


  • Cargo: Refractory materials
  • Weight: 12,500 MT
  • Route: from India, Netherlands and Germany to Kazakhstan

Customer challenges

  • Choosing most appropriate route & transport solution to meet the requirements of end receiver
  • Obtaining necessary equipment to accommodate large volumes of containers shipped in each lot
  • Minimizing risks of running into bottlenecks at transshipment ports
  • Coordinating with all involved parties for smooth & timely delivery


  • Overseeing entire process with a tailor-made project management service.
  • Central communication & coordination role with dedicated project team
  • Extensive track-trace follow-up
  • Using in-house expertise for guiding customer throughout the project execution.
  • Finding reliable solutions in a complex transport route