Russian container handlers increase volume

During H1 2019, Russia’s seaports (including those of annexed Crimea) increased their total container handling volume by 5.2% year-on-year to around 2.6M TEU

Russia’s Baltic harbours (Petrolesport, Saint Petersburg) handled half the overall volume, or 1.34M TEU (up 7.6% year-on-year), including 1.1M TEU (up 5.9%) in the Big Port of Saint Petersburg, which includes Bronka and Kotlin Island.

The country’s Pacific harbours handled 831,860 TEU (+ 7.6%). Vladivostok and Vostochny accounted respectively for 482,210 TEU (up 11.1%) and 196,530 TEU (down 2.9%).

Aggregate volume in the Black Sea/Sea of Azov was around 400,000 TEU (down 2.2%).

The Arctic ports increased their volume by 4.3% to 72,000 TEU, including 27,600 TEU (up 29.6%) in Murmansk.

The Caspian ports (mainly Astrakhan) handled just 1,300 TEU, (up 38.8%).

During calendar 2018, overall container traffic nationally increased by 9.8% to 5.08M TEU. According to local market analysts, container handlers may be able to expand aggregate handling volume by up to 10% a year for the next few years, depending on certain macro- and micro-economic factors.

For example, more bulk cargoes, such as coal, grain and sunflower oil, are being containerised and attracting higher prices for the shippers, leading to an increase in currency exchange rates and easing the effects of international economic sanctions against Moscow.

On the other hand, while there are plans to develop a new general cargo port in Primorsk, Russia’s Baltic container handling market is already oversupplied and in any case faces competition from transit gates in the Baltic Republics and in Finland.

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