The throughput of laden containers at Black Sea ports has fallen by 12% in 2015, a report by analyst Informall BG has shown.
This decrease was led by Ukrainian ports, which suffered a 26% fall in throughput, followed by Russia and Georgia whose throughputs both dropped by 13%. On the other hand, volumes at ports in Bulgaria and Romania, increased slightly.
The fall in the region’s throughput was due to a decline in imports, which were down in every country except Romania. Ukraine’s imports decreased the most, by 37% and imports to the region as a whole were down by 21%.
Exports from the region actually increased very slightly though, by 0.22%. Georgia’s exports, increased by 19% and Bulgaria, Romania and Russia experienced lesser increases. Ukraine’s exports fell, on the other hand, by 15%.
The region’s biggest container terminals have not been immune from the volume drop. Four of the five biggest terminals experienced volume drops in 2015. These were APMT Poti, HPC Ukraine (Odessa), NLE Novorossiysk and NUTEP Novorossiysk and the exception was DP World Constanta.
Despite Ukraine’s problems, HPC Ukraine leapfrogged both Novorossiysk terminals to become the region’s third biggest terminal, according to the report. DP World Constanta remained by far the biggest, followed by APMT Poti.
The Black Sea liner shipping market is dominated by the 2M alliance of Maersk and MSC who, between them, have a 47% market share, split roughly equally.
There have been changes in the market in 2015, as Wan Hai Lines and K Line suspended their activity in the region and CSAV merged with Hapag-Lloyd.
“At the same time,” the report’s author Alexander Khromov said, “a new player had entered the Ukrainian container market – Turkon Line, which is a well-known player on the Mediterranean – North American trade. Entering this market on a slot agreement basis with Admiral Container Line, Turkon Line will try to find an opportunity to grow business based on the growth of Ukraine – USA trade.”