RLL Container Report - 07 February 2018
From: John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 07 February 2018
Hitching a ride.
Prior to its projected sale in April, TransContainer is reporting some very encouraging results for the year just gone. Container moves increased to 1.78 million teu, representing an increase on 2016 of 15.2%. Box exports were up by one fifth to 432,100 teu, while imports reported a 30% increase to register a total of 315,500 for the year. However, transit moves stole the show by returning an impressive 69.9% rise on the previous year, which gives a total for 2017 of 126,000 teu. This augurs well for the sale of the TransContainer, which is attracting a great deal of overseas interest. The French shipping group, CMA CGM is the latest contender to enter the fray having teamed up with Russian partners, Logoper, a 3PL operator specialising in container block trains. However, there are rumblings that the Russian government may decide to impose some restrictions on bids by non-Russian investors.
The prospects for box traffic on the Russian rail network are most positive with throughput in 2017 up by an impressive 18.9% to record a total of 3.899 million teu. The volume of chemicals and soda led the way with a 13% increase, which equates to 452,600 teu, while paper shipments were up by 6%. The star performer in 2017, however, was to be found in the forestry sector, where containerised-goods rose by an impressive 29.5% to return a total for the year of 274,600 teu. The major manufacturers of containerisable products are now in the process of switching wholesale to intermodal logistics, a process which is made easier by the ready availability of a large pool of containers currently returning empty via the Russian Far East ports to major markets in Asia. China, South Korea and Japan are all increasing their imports of Russian sawn timber and bagged chemicals by taking advantage of these large volumes of empty boxes passing through the major chemical and timber-producing centres in Siberia and the Russian Far East.
Box statistics from Russian Far East ports confirmed this onward march of intermodal transport: last year, container throughput via Vladivostok, Vostochny and the other Far East ports rose by 23.9% to give a combined total of 1.48 million teu. Coincidentally, the Port of Vladivostok has gained a new intermodal client in the form of China-Russia Express (CRX), which will call at Shanghai, Ningbo, Busan, Nakhodka as well as Vladivostok on its weekly service. CRX is operating three vessels, “King Crimson”, “Sawasdee Laem Chabang” and “Sima Saphire” with a total capacity of 4,200 teu. This will enable Russian exporters to satisfy the current upsurge in demand for slots to transport paper and sawn timber exports to clients based in North-East Asia.
John Keir, Ross Learmont Ltd.
07 February 2018
Copyright ©, 2018, John Keir