SPECIFICS AND MAIN TRENDS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CONTAINER TRANSPORTATION THROUGH THE PORTS OF RUSSIAN FAR EAST

Anna K. Voronenko

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: The article discusses the features of container traffic through the container terminals in the Far East of Russia, analyzes the factors that influenced the dynamics and structure of container traffic.

The article describes the features of container lines operating through the ports of Vladivostok and Nakhodka and the impact of these features on the market of transport and logistics services in the region.

Keywords: Far East, Primorsky Territory, container transportation, seaports, shipping lines, seasonality.

The maritime transport market of the Far Eastern basin of the Russian Federation as a whole is steadily growing, including foreign trade and coastal shipping. The economic situation in recent years is characterized by complex processes that contribute to a change in the structure of transportation, the redistribution of goods along routes, including creating new ones. The bulk of the container traffic in the Russian Far East passes through the ports of Vladivostok, Vostochny, Nakhodka (fig. 1, below).

For a long time the seaports of the Far East were characterized by a steady and significant increase in container traffic in all directions (export, import, transit, coastal). [1] 2015 was the only exception, when the trend for an increase in container turnover in the ports of the south of Primorye was broken due to political reasons which caused economic impact. The main changes then took place in the segment of foreign trade transportation. The recovery of the previous dynamics did not happen immediately: the container turnover of the ports of the Primorsky Territory exceeded the level of 2014 only in 2018, and in 2019 it practically reached the mark of 1.5 million TEU. [2] The coastal segment, which retains a significant share in the structure of cargo transportation required for the construction of industrial facilities and supply of consumer goods in territories that do not have regular land connections with the mainland (Sakhalin, Magadan, Chukotka, Kamchatka), for a long time (more than 10 years) maintains stable volumes.

Fig. 1. Seaport container turnover structure in the territories of the Far East, 2020 (%)
Fig.2. Dynamics of container handling by stevedoring companies in Primorsky Territory, 2010-2019 (in TEU)

According to the results of 2020, the container market of the Far East showed growth again, despite the difficult overall situation. Nikolaevsk-on-Amur became the leader in terms of container turnover growth in 2020 – almost a six fold growth. In addition to traditional cargo and directions, in recent years this seaport has been handling cargo necessary for the implementation of a number of projects related to the development of federal infrastructure projects, for example, such as the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant (GPP). In absolute terms, a significant increase in container turnover occurred at “Vostochny Stevedoring Company LLC” (+58,000 TEU), which regularly launched new services and opened a customs warehouse last year. PJSC “Vladivostok Commercial Sea Port” also increased container handling, but the increase is lower than the previous year. The growth of container turnover took place at the terminals that pursue a consistent policy of attracting cargo traffic to their berths: “Vladivostok Sea Port Pervomaisky LLC” (VMPP+ 39.9%), OJSC “Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port” (+ 4.1%).

The main trends of recent years are as follows:

– the share of loaded containers in exports is increasing (typical for all terminals in this segment), which indicates some growth in the export segment in foreign trade;

– a significant impact of the dynamics of the international market for container equipment and the strategy of key players, shipping companies on the Russian market of foreign trade transportation, which was largely demonstrated by the situation with a shortage of empty containers that emerged at the end of 2020 [3];

– growth in the export of metals and timber cargo in containers;

– growth of LCL cargo transportation. Due to a difficult situation with air traffic at the beginning of 2020, regular congestions at land border crossing points caused by the implementation of quarantine measures, a sharp jump in the cost of transportation – all these factors stimulated an explosive growth in demand for LCL cargo transportation by maritime transport;

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