June 11, 2015: Intermodal operator Ruscon has increased its market share in Russia, maintaining a strong position in a country which has seen imports fall by 20% in the last 12 months. In the first quarter of 2015, Ruscon handled 32,250 laden containers compared to 28,497 in the same period last year. An increase of 13%.
Vladimir Bychkov, CEO of GCS, Ruscon's parent company, says that handling a higher than average volume of import goods also benefits its ability to handle export business.
"Imports have fallen but export demand has grown since the devaluation of the rouble and the fall in oil prices. So there is a shortage of empty containers for exports. Our strong position in the import market means we are able to access empty containers more easily and so build our market share" says Mr Bychkov.
Ruscon performed particularly well in handling containers arriving at Russian Pacific ports, despite overall volumes at Vladivostok and Vostochniy falling by 20%. "We almost tripled our volumes on the Pacific route as a result of launching our own weekly, fixed day blocks train between Moscow and Vostochniy in the second half of 2014," says Mr Bychkov.
The majority of Ruscon's business is handled through the Black Sea Port of Novorossiysk. Total container volumes through the port fell by 14.5%, but Ruscon increased its business to 22,989 containers compared with 20,403 in Q1 2014.
The Port of St Petersburg saw the greatest decline overall in the quarter, falling 28.6 percent, largely as a result of collapsed oil prices as well as economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States. In spite of this, Ruscon managed to increase its business slightly, handling 7,635 containers compared with 7,526 in Q1 2014.
Mr Bychkov attributes Ruscon's success to a well balanced structure of customers, with nearly equal proportions of export and imports, as well as to strong relationships with the major customers and carriers. "We offer cost-efficient and reliable services in the key gateways of Russia, as well as holding a strong position in the main segments of both Russian imports (retail, foods, electronics, automotive) and exports (wood & paper, agribulks and chemicals)."
GCS belongs to one of Russia's largest transport holding companies, Delo, which also owns several terminal assets in the port of Novorossiysk. The GCS Group consists of seven companies in various fields of container shipping including agency, logistics and terminal operations. It is active in all of the major container ports and provinces of Russia, as well as in neighbouring CIS countries and overseas. Ruscon is the multimodal subsidiary of GCS.