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The aggregate handling capacity of all the Russian sea ports was set to increase in 2018 by 28 million tons, according to an announcement made to the Board of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport of the Russian Federation (Rosmorrechflot), made by Deputy Transport Minister Victor Olerskiy in March of that year.

This followed on from news a year previously that the total handling capacity of all ports in the Russian Federation had increased by 32 million tons year on year in 2016. New terminal construction and expansion of existing sea terminals are driving the capacity growth.

You can learn more about the Rosmorrechflot in the PDF attachment to this post.

Russian Federation Sea Port Projects

The inauguration of stage two of the Sabetta sea port was expected to add six million tons of capacity to Russia’s ports in 2018. Reconstruction of Murmansk’s Cargo Area 2 was expected to add two million tons, and new developments in the Baltic Basin, the Black Sea Basin and the Asov were expected to increase overall capacity by more than 10 million tons.

The deep water Bronka port near to St. Petersburg opened in 2015 and had Phase 2 commissioned in 2016. In the Yamal Peninsula, the Arctic Gate offshore oil terminal became operational in 2016 – this is a unique facility designed to withstand the challenges presented by traversing the Northern Sea Route.

Container Traffic Growth

Container volumes in the Russian Federation dropped dramatically in 2015 following the grossly devaluated rouble and economic trade sanctions imposed by the government. This led to a decline of 28.5% in imports and 25.4% in container volumes. However, a gradual recovery has been underway since then.

Figures from the first quarter of 2018 showed growth of 12.6% in container traffic in Russian ports when compared to the same three months of the previous year. This follows on from an 11.8% increase by volume for the first quarter in 2017 compared to 2016. Import volumes have been steadily growing, as have exports, with both seeing double-digit increases in 2017.

The infographic attachment explores some of the key Russian sea ports as defined by container throughput in 2017.

Focus on Far East Development

Russia began work in 2015 on plans to double the amount of shipping traffic at its ports in the Far East by 2020 to 2022, focusing on modernising ports and providing special benefits to counteract the latest sanctions on shipping between the country and the West. Previously, projects in these ports have focused on constructing new terminals. The latest modernisation projects will look at key infrastructure such as improved transport links by road and rail and facility expansion including storage. The Ministry of Transport also broadcast plans to introduce a series of special benefits in these ports, most likely in the form of customs and tax exemptions, to help drive more traffic.

In the short video attachment, you can find out more about the recently developed Arctic Gate offshore oil terminal in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula.

2001 to 2017

Victor Olerskiy reminded the Board of the Maritime and River Transport Federal Agency that Russia’s aggregate capacity across all ports had more than tripled between 2001 and 2017, reaching 1,025 million tons up from 300 million tons over this time. Almost 800 million tons were handled in Russian sea ports in 2017, representing a year-on-year increase of 8.9%. A total of 93.8% of all Russia’s seaborne foreign trade was handled at Russian sea ports, with the remaining 6.2% handled in ports in the Baltic countries and Ukraine.