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Odessa feeders boost Ukraine container volumes

Photo: Pixabay Odessa port
Direct feeder services into Greater Odessa terminals, including the HHLA operated CTO, are on the horizon, with many shipping lines exploring the resumption of services to Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The recent launch of a feeder service by Iteris (a Ukrainian feeder operator) in collaboration with Maersk (Ukraine) between Constanta and the Port of Chornomorsk in Ukraine could see Constanta switch from a transit to a transhipment facility. 

Maersk recently announced the suspension of its Danube barge service from Constanta to Reni in favour of focusing on Odessa regional ports.

Additionally, the Turkish shipping line Akkon intends to restart its feeder services to Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The resumption of direct container shipping to Ukraine via its deepsea facilities is expected to reduce container traffic through Polish ports (Gdynia and Gdansk), which had temporarily served as alternative routes during the blockade.

Container traffic via Ukraine’s Black Sea ports surged 32% taking its projected annual volumes to over 80% of its pre-war totals, highlighting the country’s success in maintaining its cargo corridor into its large container facilities.

Ukraine Port Vols Informall BG.PNG

Following Russia’s military incursion in February 2022 its military took almost total control of the offshore Ukrainian Black Sea region, preventing the operation of Ukraine’s largest ports and strangling trade into and out of the country.

A grain corridor was established to allow some cargo to move to nations that relied on the region’s food supply to feed their populations, including parts of the Middle East and Africa. In the main, however, exports from Ukraine have been through river ports which supported operations through Constanta in Romania and Vargas in Bulgaria.

From 2022 to 2024, the Port of Constanta saw a surge in container traffic, reveals Informall BG data, recording an increase of just over 32%, from 610,000 teu to 810,000 teu according to the Ukrainian freight analyst.

The total container transit volume of Constanta port in Q1 2022 tripled in comparison to Q1 2021 due to Ukrainian traffic. In March 2022 alone the Constanta terminals had to process approximately 7,000 teu of Ukrainian cargo discharged at the port off-schedule, putting significant pressure on the terminal's infrastructure.

Terminal officials reported that by the end of March 2022, Constanta's container yard utilisation had soared to 90%, gradually tapering to 80% in the subsequent weeks of May 2022.

Two years later Constanta’s container terminals operate seamlessly with no observed bottlenecks. This achievement is attributed to the implementation of standard operating procedures for handling Ukrainian containers in transit, demonstrating significant progress since 2022. 

Informall BG estimates that container volumes in Constanta port will gradually recede to around 700,000 teu as Ukrainian-bound traffic gradually reverts.

In spite of the operational challenges, the surge in Ukrainian traffic has generated additional profits for Constanta and the broader Romanian logistics sector, said Informall.

Romania Port Vols Informall BG.png


TAGS: Ports