On September 7, 2017, in Odessa, the 11th International Black Sea Container Summit-2017 was held. More than 150 people from 10 countries took part in the event. The summit was carried our within the framework of the activities program planned by the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
The organizers of the summit were the ‘Ports of Ukraine’ Publishing House and the Centre for Information and Analytics ‘BlackSeaTrans’. The premium sponsor of the summit - the company ‘Container Terminal Odessa’. Among the sponsors, there are the companies like SE ‘Odessa Sea Port’, ‘Containers of Ukraine’, Maersk Ukraine, MSC Ukraine.
On the eve, on September 6, the summit participants witnessed the launch of a new container route, the Dnieper-TIS (port Yuzhny). This is a joint project of the TIS group of terminals, the Ukrrichflot joint-stock shipping company (ASC) and the container carrier Maersk Line.
The summit provided an opportunity for fruitful communication between the heads of transport companies, cargo owners, carriers, terminal operators, line agents, forwarders, representatives of state structures related to the work of the transport industry. What are the further prospects for the container market’s revitalization? How should be created more favorable conditions for the container traffic in the Black Sea region? The summit participants discussed these and other topics.
The summit was attended by the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Viktor Dovgan, acting Head of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) Raivis Veckagans, representatives of ports and container terminals of the Black Sea region, etc., who also took the floor during the event. The analyst of Drewry Consultants revealed insights into the state of container carriages in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea in his presentation.
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Victor Dovgan informed that at a meeting of the Ministry on September 6, 2017, they had made a decision to establish the State Service of Maritime and River Transport of Ukraine that would be given the competences of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. The activity of the new body will be directed and coordinated by the Cabinet through the Minister of Infrastructure.
In addition, in the speech of the Acting Head of USPA Raivis Veckagans, it was announced that the government had decided to reduce port charges by 20 percent since January 1, 2018, and now the work is being actively done, in order to improve the methodology for calculating port dues. This applies to all ship-owners, including container ships calling at domestic ports.
At the suggestion of Oleg Kutateladze, Chairman of the TIS Group of Companies, the summit adopted an appeal to the Prime Minister of Ukraine on the transfer of the port railway stations, which serve only the ports, from the Ukrzaliznytsya balance to the USPA balance. This should solve the problems of transport support of domestic exports through building a unified system of transport hubs in seaports and will create the economic incentives for the modernization of their railway infrastructures.
The main dispute at the summit was about the promising freight flows on the Black Sea. It is clear that the volume of container traffic is ultimately correlated with GDP growth. This year, a modest GDP growth is forecasted - about 2 percent. This could give rise to container traffic by approximately 7-8 percent. Experts also suggest the possibility of traffic growth by 10-15 percent in the next 2018.
Traditionally, at the summit they held the award ceremony of the winners among container terminals of the Black Sea region on the results of the last year. In 2016, the first three places in the ranking of terminals - the leaders of the region in container turnover were taken as follows:
1. DP WORLD CONSTANTZA (RO) – 516,620 TEU;
2. CTO (UA) – 281,928 TEU;
3. APMT POTY (GE) – 273,690 TEU.
The first three places in the ranking of terminals - the leaders of the region in terms of growth in container turnover:
1. ILYICHEVSK SEA FISHING PORT (UA) - growth by 115.9% (to 101,076 TEU).
2. BKP (UA) - growth by 79.3% (to 198,407 TEU).
3. TIS (UA) - growth by 48.1% (to 80,487 TEU).
Further details of the summit are available in the "Ports of Ukraine" journal (No. 8, October 2017).