Rapid development of Russian ports continues to transform historic transit routes

Press release from the Freeport of Riga

At the end of November, Russian Transport Week, one of Eurasia’s annual transport and logistics events, took place in Moscow. More than 4,000 leaders from the transport sector and 15 thousand visitors participate in these week-long events. The largest Latvian transit companies were also represented at 2019 Russian Transport Week. 

Shipments to/from Russia form one the primary transit routes of Latvian ports,” underlines Ansis Zeltiņš, the CEO of the Freeport of Riga. As two thirds of the total volume of transit cargo handled in Latvia arrive from or is sent to Russia, participation of the Latvian transit sector in the Russian Transport Week is logical.  

It should be noted that Latvia is the only Baltic State that had an opportunity to participate in the Russian Transport Week and present the Latvian offering to the Russian partners. This also entails constructive cooperation. “Five years ago, the protocol of the Transport Working Group of the Latvia-Russia Intergovernmental Commission was supplemented with a paragraph stating that the Latvian delegation would permanently participate in the Russian Transport Week and have a booth at the transport show. This paragraph is still in force, and every year we receive an invitation to participate in the Russian Transport Week,” explains Uldis Reimanis, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport.

The cargo logistics sector is affected not only by geopolitical circumstances, but also by the expansive development of Russian ports that makes competition in the port sector increasingly fiercer. During the last 10 years, Russia has invested enormous resources in the development of its ports. Last year, their total annual capacity of reached 1 billion tonnes, and since 2015 it has increased by more than 200 million tonnes. In the same period, cargo turnover increased 1.5 times. “It is clear that Russia will continue to develop and increase the handling capacities of its ports. This is no longer a surprise,” indicates the CEO of the freeport. 

Nevertheless, considering the size of the Russian market, developing good partnerships and the ability to offer quality innovative logistics services are a key precondition for maintaining the competitive position of the Latvian transport sector in the global logistics chain. “The goal of the Latvian transit sector in various fora in Russia is to efficiently present our comprehensive offering. We cannot compete with Russian logistics companies, but our fast, focused and fair offer is important to any customer in Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany or any other country,” claims U. Reimanis.

Date of publication: 5 Dec 2019

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