Anna K. Voronenko
Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: The article analyzes the statistical data on the merchant fleet in the Far East registered under the Russian flag, highlights the features specific for the region. The need to renew the fleet assets in the Far East of Russia does not require justification, but what the demand for ships in specific segments may be in the long term needs a detailed assessment. Analysis of the development of the marine fleet, its structure and specific features is the first step towards the creation of a forecast on the demand for tonnage in accordance with the changes in the cargo base.

Keywords: forecast, fleet assets, demand for tonnage, demand for tonnage, transport infrastructure, shipping

For Russian shipping and shipbuilding enterprises and for the economic as a whole, it is critically important to ensure sustainable operation and development in a constantly changing and highly competitive economic environment. One of the ways to solve this problem may be to minimize the risks of investment projects through competent planning of the functional activities of companies, which is impossible without long-term forecasting. National strategic documents aimed at supporting the development of shipbuilding and shipping traditionally underline the importance of long-term planning. There is an obvious demand in the industry for effective methods of long-term forecasting in modern conditions in the field of transport, including forecasting the demand for the fleet assets. The analysis of the current situation, both on the structure of cargo flows and the structure of the fleet serving these flows is an important stage on the way to the creation of a reliable forecast.

As of 2019, the merchant fleet under the Russian flag in the Far Eastern Basin consisted of ~ 1 170 vessels with a total deadweight of 2,3 million tons. The structure of the fleet by types of vessels is shown in Fig. 1, 2 (based on the data of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping – hereinafter RS).

Analysis of the data of the RS “Register Book of Vessels for 2019” shows that in terms of tonnage, the first place is occupied by vessels for liquid cargo (25.7%), the second – for general cargo (25.0%), the third and fourth – refrigerators (18.9 %) and fishing vessels (14.4%). In terms of the number of vessels, the structure of the Far Eastern fleet assets looks different – almost half of the entire fleet under the Russian flag is made up of fishing vessels. If we consider the transport fleet in the basin, the largest groups, in terms of both quantity and tonnage, are general cargo, liquid bulk and refrigerated cargo ships.

The average deadweight age of the fleet is 29.2 years. The oldest groups of ships are icebreakers, training, passenger and research. Container ships are the most modern.

For the period 2001-2011 the number of vessels flying the Russian flag in the Far East has decreased by 2.5 times. The average annual reduction was over 100 vessels due to both write-off and sale for scrap, and due to sailing under the flag of convenience. In the next period from 2012, the reduction rate has decreased: over the period 2012-2019 the number of the ships decreased by 7%, while the total tonnage of the fleet, on the contrary, increased by 7%. The fleet under the Russian flag in general and in the Far East in particular continues to age, the majority of ships are over 25 years old, of which a significant proportion are over 30 years old (Fig. 3). It should be noted that in the general structure of the fleet, fishing vessels occupy a little less than half, and 84% of them are vessels over 25 years old. In the structure of the transport fleet, most of the vessels aged over 25 years are among tankers, general cargo vessels and tugs.

Below is a description of the fleet in the basin under the flag of the Russian Federation, classified by type of vessels or its mission.

Tankers are mainly the fleet of shipping companies engaged in the transportation of oil products in the export direction and within the framework of the “Northern Delivery”, operating for a long time in the market, such as PJSC “Sovfrakht”, LLC “Nayada”, SC “Pavino”, etc., as well as numerous companies carrying out bunkering in the ports of the Far East.

The fleet for the carriage of bulk cargo, registered under the flag of the Russian Federation, is practically non-existent. For 2019, according to the RS “Register Book of Vessels”, there were only two vessels in the Far Eastern Basin, of which the m/v “Gold of Kolyma” was sold later that same year.

The ships for general cargo transportation in the basin under the flag of the Russian Federation are divided inti two groups. Ships

of the first group belong to shipping companies PJSC “Far Eastern Shipping Company” (FESCO), JSC “Sakhalin Shipping Company”, LLC “Kamchatka Shipping Company”, which carry out regular shipping in the cabotage segment. As a rule, these are multi-purpose ships for the transportation of containers and oversized cargo. This fleet is periodically renewed with the purchase of used ships, but the average age of the ships (as for the rest of the groups) is over 20 years. The second group of ships are general ships of small companies that carry out tramp transportation between the ports of the basin, as well as international transportation.

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