October 27, 2020 Marina Sorokina, Sakhalin.INFO
Sakhalin Shipping Company (SASCO) celebrates its 75th anniversary today. This date is significant not only for its employees, but also for every inhabitant of the Sakhalin Island. For 75 years, the shipping company has been carrying out cargo and passenger transportation, providing a connection between the island region and the “mainland”.
In 2019 compared to 2018, the growth in the volume of transported goods was 20%, the increase in passenger turnover was 44%. Hence SASCO management has achieved significant improvement in financial performance. In particular, the growth of revenue for the same period amounted to 24%, the company’s net profit increased by 56%, the decrease in debt obligations – by 5%. Currently, the SASCO fleet consists of 24 vessels, including 4 ferries
According to Mr. Alexei Pavlov, SASCO CEO, despite the coronavirus pandemic which is detrimental to the entire global economy, the company’s management has identified growth drivers for itself in the short term.
The first is the development of transportation along the Northern Sea Route. SASCO has a specialized fleet for this purpose, with a wealth of experience in the ship crew. This year, as in the previous several years, the shipping company successfully delivers cargo to the port of Pevek, which has a limited navigation period. The plans are to purchase a vessel with a deadweight of about 10 thousand tons equipped with a crane device with a lifting capacity of 60 tons. This will allow the company to diversify its activities for the development of transportation scheme along the NSR. The fact is that the ports along its entire length are not sufficiently equipped, and unloading to an unequipped shore is often required.
The second growth driver is participation in infrastructure projects related to the oil industry, where SASCO is practically not represented until now.
As for the current situation and short-term goals, as the CEO noted, the main tasks in connection with a noticeable economic decline are to maintain positions in such areas as general bulk cargo transportation, liner and ferry transportation, as well as retain human resources.
A dialogue with the government of the Sakhalin region is underway about the fate of two new ferries for the Vanino – Kholmsk line, which are scheduled to be commissioned in 2021. SASCO is ready to accept into operation the ferries “Alexander Deev” and “Vasily Oshchepkov“. Taking into account the fact that these vessels are being built on budgetary funds, the company’s management outlined its vision of interaction with government agencies with a positive solution to this issue. SASCO has recently acquired a powerful ‘Lev Ivanov’ tugboat, which will make it less dependent on weather conditions when ferries enter the port and navigate to the berth.