A member of the United National Movement, Roman Gotsiridze, stated: "The volume of railway shipment catastrophically decreased after 2012 and dropped by almost one-third in the first quarter of this year."


took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

The total volume of goods shipped by all means of transport (vehicle, land and rail) in 2011-2015 is given in Graph 1. As illustrated from the data, the indicators for 2015 are minimal for the last five years both in the case of the volume of cargo processed at sea ports and terminals and in the case of the total amount of shipments by different means of transport (vehicle, civil aviation and rail).

Graph 1:

 Processed Cargo Volume in 2011-2015

image001 Source: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

The volume of railway shipments was 14.1 million tonnes in 2015. The trends of total turnover for Georgian Railways are given in Graph 2. As illustrated by the graph, a trend of decline is seen over the last years whilst the amount of shipment in 2015 was the lowest it has been in the last five years. The same situation persists in regard to the transportation of passengers. In 2015, Georgian Railways transported 2.6 million passengers which is the lowest amount registered in the period of 2011-2015. The trend of decline is quite visible in regard to passenger transportation, too.

Graph 2:

 Georgian Railways Turnover Dynamic in 2011-2015

image002 Source: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Table 1 shows the trend of fluctuation of the quarterly data. The official data for Georgian Railways illustrate that its shipment volume decreased in the first quarters (five months – January to May) in the period of 2012 to 2016 and reached its minimum amounts in 2016. The indicators show decreases in regard to both domestic and international shipments. However, a principal factor behind the decrease in the total sum is the decrease in international shipments.

Table 1:

 Railway Shipment (million tonnes)

Year Total Domestic shipment International shipment
I Q 5 months I Q 5 months I Q 5 months
2012 4.55 8.09 0.68 1.25 3.86 6.85
2013 4.55 7.40 0.58 1.07 3.98 6.33
2014 3.80 6.48 0.52 0.95 3.28 5.53
2015 3.77 6.14 0.56 0.95 3.21 5.19
2016 2.84 4.71 0.49 0.80 2.34 3.90
Source: Georgian Railways

The data for the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the data for the same period of 2012 show a decrease by 1.71 million tonnes which constitutes a 37.6% decrease. According to the data for the first five months of the year, the amount of decrease as compared to 2012 constitutes approximately 3.39 million tonnes (41.8%).


An analysis of the annual data illustrates that the total volume of railway shipment, together with the total amount of cargo shipped by all kinds of transport means, is characterised by a decrease in 2011-2015 and hit a five-year low in 2015. The volume of shipments in the first quarter and the first five months of 2016 is 37.6% and 41.8% less, respectively (by 1.71 million tonnes and 3.39 million tonnes, also respectively), than it was in the same periods of 2012 (41.8% or 3.39 million tonnes).

FactCheck concludes that Roman Gotsiridze’s statement is TRUE.