Ports of St. Petersburg: the "window to Europe" is almost closed, but the "window leaf" remained

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Ports of St. Petersburg: the "window to Europe" is almost closed, but the "window leaf" remained
Ports of St. Petersburg: the "window to Europe" is almost closed, but the "window leaf" remained
26 May, 12:37
The cargo turnover of the largest seaports in the North-West almost doubled in March. In April, turnover on some lines decreased by 80%. In May, the statistics are also unlikely to please the Baltic port workers.

Yekaterina Maksimova

In March, the cargo turnover of the Big Port of St. Petersburg decreased by 41%, amounting to 3.1 million tons (the same period in 2021 - 5.2 million tons). The main anti-leader is the container segment. According to the Baltic Sea Ports Administration, in March, 101.1 thousand TEUs of container cargo were handled in the port of St. Petersburg against 182 thousand TEUs in March 2021, i.e. minus 44%.

Until the end of February, the "collective" port of St. Petersburg was the Russian leader in container turnover. In the first two months of 2021, the transshipment volume amounted to 337.9 thousand TEUs, the port then showed an increase of 6.2%. The second was the port of Vladivostok.

There is no need to guess about the reasons for the sharp decline. Three of the world's container lines have turned away from Russian ports - the Danish carrier Maersk, the Swiss MSC and the French CMA. All of them in March, due to SVO, announced the suspension of accepting new orders for transportation to Russia.

The statistics for April showed that the departure of such players is worth the port business. Freight turnover in the most modern transshipment complex in the North-West - "Bronka" decreased last month by 80% (to 57 thousand tons). And this, we recall, is the only deep-water terminal in the Big Port of St. Petersburg (“Bronka” has been operating since December 2015 - ed.).

Port workers have traditionally been stingy with comments in times of negative scenarios. Now they are completely "playing silent". Three people, as close as possible to the leadership of the Big Sea Port, refused to have any conversations on this topic - "a complete ban on comments."

Only one port top manager, on condition of anonymity, described the situation as follows: “For all the ports of the North-West, now the time has come for a huge letter “Zh”. I remember the rapid collapse in 1998, but it was a default, not an embargo. And the situation then quickly rolled back. This was not a global recession. And now ... Before September, do not even bother - nothing will get better. Logistics is broken, it will take time to line up. You need to wait".

In his opinion, not all Baltic stevedores in this story will be able to get their companies out of the water. “Someone will cope, someone will merge or go bankrupt. This is business. This is fine. Some companies are worse now, others are better. This is not the first time there has been a crisis in this industry, one should calmly perceive this as a cost to the environment,” the interlocutor concluded.

Among those with a better situation, we can safely include the Baltic ports, which are not tied to the container segment. Thus, the port of Ust-Luga (not part of the Big Sea Port of St. Petersburg) in April showed an increase in cargo turnover by 6%. From the statistics of the Administration of the Sea Ports of the Baltic Sea, it follows that the transshipment of bulk and liquid cargo in Ust-Luga against the background of the NWO showed an increase of 31% and 73%, respectively. Ore, oil, oil products and liquefied gas are the main points of positive growth.

“In April, due to oil and oil products, Primorsky Port also increased shipments by 32%”, - adds Alexey Bezborodov, expert, managing partner of Infra Projects.

Alexey Bezborodov, even before the NWO, regularly noted the “relaxation of stevedores” of the Big Sea Port of St. Petersburg. The sanctions of the problem of the oldest port of the Baltic only exacerbated it many times over. But the expert has no doubts about the prospects of the young port of Bronka - in February, the multifunctional transshipment complex in the seaport "Big Port of St. Petersburg" was transferred to the state corporation "Rostec".

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