- 22. April 2020
Cargo handling of Russian seaports rises in the first quarterAs a result of rising freight charges and reduced capacities due to the on-going corona pandemic, freight traffic in Russia is severely restricted. However, given that the spread of the virus was delayed in comparison to other European countries and the Federation only closed its borders on March 30th, Russian seaports have reported positive cargo handling figures in the first quarter.
From January to March 2020, cargo handling in Russian seaports increased by 2.4% to a total of 207.08 million tonnes. The volume of dry cargo handled amounted to 88.25 million tonnes, while the volume of liquid cargo rose to 118.83 million tonnes.
The volume of goods handled in the individual regions rose at different rates, as traffic from China and Europe in particular was reduced. The ports of the Far East, for example, only achieved a growth rate of 2.2%, with the ports in the Caspian region increasing their cargo handling by 31.6% to 2.18 million tonnes. The ports of the Baltic Sea and the Azov/Black Sea regions registered moderate growth of 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively. However, the volume of goods handled by ports in the Arctic region decreased by 4.7% to 24.87 million tonnes (handling of dry cargo decreased by 9.8%).
The growth rate of cargo handling rose to 2.7% from January to March. Last year an increase of 4.7% was recorded in the first quarter, after which the growth rate fell to 3%.
According to the results for January to March 2020, container handling in Russian ports amounted to 1.32 million TEU, exceeding the previous year's figures for the same period by 1.6%. The handling of import containers decreased by 0.4% to 557.27 thousand TEU (loaded - 1.2%, empty +8.6%), while the handling of export containers increased by +3.8% to 548.22 thousand TEU (loaded +14.1%). With a volume of 141,000 TEU, slightly fewer reefer containers were handled than in the same period of the previous year. Cabotage increased by 5.3% to 187.91 thousand TEU. Transit decreased sharply by 17.9%.
These figures are also reflected in the regional reports. The Baltic Sea ports saw a decline in container handling of 1.6% to 635.04 thousand TEU. The ports of the Azov/Black Sea region registered an increase of 6.1% to 222.81 thousand TEU. Similarly, the ports of the Far East reported a growth of 4.2% and those of the Arctic region of 1.9%. The ports of the Caspian region even increased container handling by 40.6%.
The growth rate for container handling fell below 1% in January of this year. From January to February, it only rose to 1%, while from January to March it rose to 1.6%. In comparison, the results for the first quarter of 2019 showed growth of 8%, in 2018 +12.6% and in 2017 +10.7%.