Russia looking to expand northern container port

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

DP World and FESCO, Russia’s largest intermodal transport operator, are working together to study the potential for a new container berth in the far east of Russia.

The new berth would help to expand Vladivostok Commercial Seaport as a major transshipment hub for cargo from countries in East Asia to North-West Europe via the Northern Sea Route. It follows an earlier agreement between DP World and Rosatom to explore sustainable development of the route.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, signed the agreement at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok with Andrey Severilov, chairman of the board of directors of FESCO.

Suez alternative

“DP World supports President Vladimir Putin’s vision for the Northern Sea Route, which is one of the last great trading routes in the world to be developed,” said Bin Sulayem.

“Opening up an alternative route to the Suez Canal between East and West will increase the resilience of world trade. It has great potential to develop economic activity and prosperity in Russia’s far north. It must be done sustainably to protect the pristine waters of the Arctic.”

The berth in Vladivostok is part of the infrastructure needed for full development of the northern route. Under the plan, cargo would be brought to Vladivostok by feeder ships, and by rail from countries in East Asia, then loaded onto Arctic-class container ships.

Murmansk to be developed

Murmansk will be developed as a transshipment hub.

Murmansk will be further developed as a transshipment hub in the west to connect cargo to ports in Northwestern Europe. DP World’s feeder operations will serve both Vladivostok and Murmansk.

A record 33 million tonnes of cargo was carried along the route in 2020. Russian president Vladimir Putin has set a target of 80 million tonnes by 2024. The project cuts some 4,000 nautical miles from voyages between East Asia and North-Western Europe, cutting shipping time by around two weeks and reducing CO2 emissions.