Russian Ocean Carrier Traffic Soars

Russian Ocean Carrier Traffic Soars

Fesco, Russia's biggest ocean carrier, said its ships carried 22 percent more containers in the first quarter than a year ago while traffic at its box terminals grew even faster.

The Vladivostok-based carrier transported 76,671 20-foot equivalent units in the three months to March 31 compared with 62,422 TEUs in the same period in 2009.

Fesco's container terminals in St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk boosted their combined traffic by 31 percent to 295,125 TEUs and the Vladivostok terminal increased volume by 48 percent to 62,215 TEUs.

Breakbulk cargo rose 63 percent at the port of Vladivostok to 1.8 million metric tons against 1.1 million metric tons a year ago.

The company booked steep increases in related container sectors. The intermodal unit increased traffic by 126 percent to 6,728 TEUs, the freight forwarding division booked a 26 percent increase to 14,535 TEUs and reefer cargo was up 12 percent at 9,843 TEUs.

Fesco's railways division, which operates one of Russia's largest private rail freight networks, grew industrial traffic by 48 percent to 7.6 billion tonne-kilometers and boosted container volume by 130 percent to 42,378 TEUs.

"A prudent financial policy, combined with substantial achievements in improving operating efficiency, helped us overcome the most difficult period of 2009, not only preserving, but in many cases increasing our market share," said Fesco vice-president Corporate Communications Stanislav Vartanyan.

Fesco secured a $100 million loan from the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in December to support its debt restructuring program.

Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.