Container trade via Russian ports returns to growth

August 15, 2017

Russia’s container trades are enjoying a significant recovery, in a positive trend that has not only been sustained, but has accelerated in the first half of 2017.

Last year, the country’s ports handled a total of 3.82 million teu, up from 3.78 million teu in 2015, a rise of 1.1%, reversing a period of decline. According to latest statistics from the Ministry of Transport, however, Russian container volumes were up by more than 15%, to 2.3 million teu between January and June 2017, compared to the first six months of 2016. Containerised imports surged by 24%, largely due to higher volumes through the country’s Far East ports, while exports were up by around 15%.

Figures released by some of the country’s leading container terminals confirm the positive trend. In the first half of the year, Container Terminal Saint-Petersburg (CTSP) part of the of UCL Holding group, handled 319,000 teu, 10.7% higher than in the equivalent months of 2016, achieving a market share of 32% in the St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga. Import container volumes were up by 9.5% and exports by 11.7%.

On the Black Sea, volumes moving through the port of Novorossiysk also rose sharply. Port operator, the NCSP group, reports container traffic up in the first half of the year by 23%, to over 310,000 teu. Far East ports, such as Vladivostok, performed even more strongly, with volumes through Russia’s Far East gateways rising by over 40% in the first half of the year, to more than 340,000 teu.

One of the factors behind the increase at Vladivostok has been shipments of containerised corn to Japan for the first time. The use of specialised containers has reduced cost, and transportation times, compared with traditional bulk handling methods, the port authority reports.

Photo: Courtesy of JOC.COM