16 October 2015: Despite a significant general decline in the number of containers handled in Russian ports, multimodal operator Ruscon reports an 11 percent increase in the first six months of 2015.
Ruscon, a subsidiary of leading Russian container transport company GCS, handled 65,793 laden containers in the first half of 2015 compared with 58,754 in the same period last year. This is in contrast to the total volumes at the ports where Ruscon operates, with throughput at St Petersburg on the Baltic Sea falling by 28.5 percent, at Novorossiysk on the Black Sea by 21 percent and the Russian Pacific ports of Vladivostok and Vostochniy by 27 percent.
Vladimir Bychkov, CEO of GCS, attributes Ruscon's success to providing a cost-effective and reliable service in the key Russian gateways. "We also have customers in a wide range of markets, so that helps us keep a balanced business during growth or decline in any particular commodity or product."
The company is a major player in handling containers for both Russian imports (retail, foods, electronics, automotive) and exports (wood & paper, agribulks and chemicals).
The fact that Ruscon also has a good balance between import and export volumes helps it to provide exporters with containers, which are in short supply as exports have grown due to the low level of the rouble and the fall in oil prices. Imports are still being affected by the devaluation of the Russian currency at the end of 2014.
The majority of Ruscon's business is in the Port of Novorossiysk, with 49,074 containers handled in the first half of 2015, compared to 41,842 in the same period in 2014. In St Petersburg, Ruscon handled 13,654 containers (15,010 in H1,2014) and in the Russian Pacific ports 3065 containers (1,902 in H1,2014)