Container traffic of Russian ports grows 12.6% in Q1 2018

NUTEP container terminal in Novorossiysk. Source: NUTEP

Container throughput of Russian seaports in January-March 2018 continued growing: +12.6% to the same period of 2017. The ports overall handled 1.198 mln TEU, reports InfraNews agency quoting the data of the Russian Sea Commercial Ports Association. The first quarter last year also recorded a rather high increase over 2016: +11.8%. This demonstrates a gradual recovery after a dramatic drop in container volumes by 25.4% in 2015, when the economic sanctions declared by the Russian government, the grossly devaluated ruble and the following economic crisis led to a 28.5% decline in imports.

This year, import volumes grow 14.62% (527,150 TEU), even larger than in Q1 2017 (12.4%). And this increase is attributed to loaded imports, which constitute the major part in import traffic (502,610 TEU) and grew by 16.29%, whereas importing empty boxes decreased by 11%.

Exports also have demonstrated a double-digit growth: +12.89% (501,560 TEU), where both loaded and empty volumes grow by 12.15% and 14.08% respectively. It is worth noting, however, that loaded boxes make up for 62% of the whole Russian containerized exports, which include shipments of paper, chemicals, mineral fertilizers, metal and wood products.

Cabotage and transit volumes constitute 14% of all Russian container traffic. In the first 3 months of 2018, cabotage increased by 7.86%, to 156,540 TEU. Transit containers slipped 11.2%, to 13,520 TEU.

The growth was observed in all major Russian port regions. The biggest increase was achieved by the Black Sea ports: +25.57%, up to 227,810 TEU. The largest container port here is Novorossiysk, which handled 224,070 TEU (+25.66%), primarily thanks to NUTEP terminal, that became the most fast-growing container facility in this period: +49%, 106,830 TEU. NUTEP, part of Delo Ports Group, is currently developing a project to further increase its capacity up to 700,000 TEU by 2021, which will allow the port of Novorossiysk handle ocean containerships and enhance the port’s capacity to 1-1.1 mln TEU.

Russia’s largest container ports – the Baltic ports – handled 577,600 TEU (+7.82%). St. Petersburg alone, the biggest port in terms of container traffic, registered the throughput of 503,820 TEU (+8.25%). And here we mark the two Russian leading container terminals: Container Terminal Saint-Petersburg, owned by UCL Holding, which handled 168,540 TEU (+6.96%), and First Container Terminal, owned by Global Ports, which is trying to regain its leader’s position: +17.6% in Q1 2018, 140,550 TEU.

The Far Eastern ports have slightly slowed down their pace this year: just 14%, whereas in the first quarter of 2017 they demonstrated a tremendous growth of 29.8%. Of their total throughput of 357,640 TEU, Vladivostok handled the most: 196,110 TEU (+14.02%), thus confirming its #3 position among Russia’s container ports. It is followed by the Vostochny port and its only container terminal – Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company (VSC): 99,600 TEU, up 21%.

The Arctic facilities, which primarily handle cabotage containers, registered a growth of 5.98%, just 35,000 TEU.

The Caspian ports (Astrakhan) handled just scarce 650 TEU, which is 12% less than in the same period last year.

Top 10 Russian container ports

Based on Q1 2017-2018 results
PortQ1 2017, TEUQ1 2018, TEU2018/2017
St. Petersburg465 410503 820+8.25%
Novorossiysk178 320224 070+25.66%
Vladivostok171 990196 110+14.02%
Vostochny82 36099 600+20.93%
Kaliningrad49 73052 160+4,89%
Korsakov28 91026 040-9.93%
Ust-Luga20 57021 630+5.15%
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky15 99018 810+17.64%
Dudinka12 53016 460+31.31%
Murmansk11 71010 930-6.67%
TOP 10 ports1 037 5201 169 630+12.73%
TOP 10 share in total volume97.46%97.57%
Julia Louppova:
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