Russian container market booms in Q1 despite pandemic

Russian container market booms in Q1

The Russian container market grew by 2% in Q1 2021, driven largely by TEU imports, which rose by 6%, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to terminal operator Global Ports Investments (Global Ports).

The company said in its latest financial statement that the Russian market handled 1.3 million TEU as it recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic.

“As a result of the high growth in freight rates in the global container shipping market in 2H 2020 and a deficit of empty containers globally, during Q1 2021 market players preferred faster container import and export supply chains with the shortest sea leg,” Global Ports explained.

“As a result, the market growth seen in Q1 2021 was concentrated in the Russian Far Eastern basin and the Southern basin while the combined throughput of terminals located in Saint-Petersburg and surrounding area declined by 11.9%.”

It said it “successfully maintained” its market position in Q1 2021 in all its basins with throughput at Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company (VSC) rising by 11.5% YoY.

Albert Likholet, CEO, Global Ports, said, “Despite a muted start in January, we saw the market turn to growth, both in containerised import and export, towards the end of the first quarter of 2021, delivering double-digit growth rates in the Far Eastern and Southern Basins while the Saint-Petersburg market, where most of our terminals are located, saw a decline.

“Nonetheless, we successfully protected our market share in our basins of presence over the quarter and as we look ahead, are prepared to support our clients.

“We believe that the remainder of this year with its volatile freight rates, global container deficit and the recent interruption of global supply chain at Suez Canal, means that quality offering, operational flexibility and high level of customer service will be in huge demand.”

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