On September 9-11, 2015, in Odessa, the 9th International Black Sea Container Summit 2015 was held in the framework of BSEC activities.
The company HPC Ukraina was the premium sponsor of the event. The further sponsors – TIS Group of maritime terminals, the companies Maersk Line, Liftcom BV, and Odessa Commercial Sea Port.
Organizers of the summit - "Ports of Ukraine" Publishing House and the Centre for Information and Analytics "BlackSeaTrans".
About 170 representatives of the world's largest container lines, terminal operators, top managers and representatives of seaports, governmental structures related to the transport sector, railways, line agents, trucking companies, manufacturers of container handling equipment, transport and forwarding companies from 14 countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine) took part in the summit.
The summit was opened by the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Andriy Pivovarsky who not only delivered a welcoming speech but also took an active part in discussions on the issues of the ways of development, privatization and commercialization of the state-owned enterprises in Ukrainian ports that ensued during the event.
He drew attention to the fact that virtually on the eve of the summit one of the deregulation reforms, on which the Ministry of Infrastructure had worked with some representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers for several months, was launched. The main target of the reform is to make Ukrainian ports more competitive, more attractive from the investments point of view. The reform, in particular, led to the cancellation of the commission on the board of ships, and in the first place, that should simplify the container carriages.
This is the second stage of deregulation reform in the port industry, namely the simplification of the procedures of vessels calls and departures, as well as loading, unloading, and control. And the first thing that was done – the abolishment of isolated ballast control. There is going to be also the third stage of simplification, which affects the interests of fiscal services and ecologists.
In the presentations and speeches of the summit’s participants, much attention was given to the prospects of the Black Sea countries’ container markets development, the impact of global and regional trends in the economy on container carriages in the Black Sea region.
Since 2010, the Black Sea-Azov basin has seen the intensive recovery of container market demolished by the crisis of 2008-2009. In 2013, for the first time, the pre-crisis volume of container turnover was exceeded in the region. But in 2014, the container traffic was marked out with the downturn caused by unfavorable trends in the economy of Ukraine and Russia. Both countries were hugely influenced by the military and political conflict, and its consequences.
In the first half of 2015 the decline exacerbated; in Ukrainian ports the container throughput fell by 25.8% compared to the same period of the previous year, while in Russia it decreased by 17.9%. The recession also affected Georgia, where the container turnover fell by 9.5%. The current signals on the Chinese economic slowdown suggest the real possibility of the beginning of a new global cyclical crisis that could affect the container traffic in the Black Sea region.
Overall, in the Black Sea-Azov region containers were handled in 16 seaports at 20 container terminals, 5 ports are Ukrainian ones among them.
At the summit, there was the awarding of container terminal operators on results of their performance in 2014.
The leaders of container handling volumes in 2014 are the following operators of container terminals:
1. DPW Constantza (Romania) - 487,635 TEU;
2. APMT Poti (Georgia) - 384 992 TEU;
3. "Novoroslesexport" (Russia) - 297 026 TEU.
The best growth rates in 2014 were shown by:
1. Port of Giurgiulesti (Moldova) - growth by 61.9%;
2. Port of Samsun (Turkey) - growth by 30.6%;
3. Port of Burgas (Bulgaria) - growth by 29.7%.
A special session of the summit was devoted to the prospects for the development of intermodal rail transport towards the ports of Baltic, Black Sea and Caspian states. Also, they gave attention to the issues of container carriages on the Danube and Dnepr inland water ways.
During the summit, on September 11, 2015, they held a round table "Freedom to Container Flows", in which professional transporters comprehensively discussed the latest innovations of the Ukrainian authorities with regard to the creation of more favorable conditions for container carriages in Ukraine. Noting the indisputable achievements in the elimination of a number of barriers to container traffic, the roundtable participants criticized the shortcomings of the Cabinet’s latest decisions, however. The adopted documents, according to the majority of professionals, provide some opportunities for regulatory bodies to implement their initiatives, and changing of approaches to the weighing and inspection of goods will lead to a general cost increase of ports‘cargo handling.
At the conclusion of Black Sea Container Summit 2015, the participants familiarized themselves with the container terminals of HPC Ukraina, a new deep-water terminal "Quarantine mole", and the terminal of Brooklyn-Kiev Port Company during the sea voyage across the Odessa port’s waters on board of catamaran "Hadzhibey".
More detailed information is available on the website www.containersummit.com
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