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How the vessels under a foreign flag work on the rivers of Ukraine

15 July 2019   Andriy Muravskyi

For the first half of 2019 the State service of maritime and river transport of Ukraine issued 146 single permits to vessels under a foreign flag for loading and unloading in river ports which is twice as much as for the same period last year. Website “Ports of Ukraine” has analyzed what volume of cargo each of those ports processed.

How the vessels under a foreign flag work on the rivers of Ukraine

According to information of the State service of maritime and river transport of Ukraine, during the first half of 2019 vessels under a foreign flag have received 146 permits for arrival in the Ukrainian river ports. Nearly half of applications for the first half of the year in 2019 were filed for mooring in the Mykolaiiv and Kherson river ports which are owned by JSSC ”Ukrrichflot”.

Cruises into the Ukrainian ports were executed by vessels operated by nearly fifty owners under the flags of such countries as Moldova, Panama, Turkey, Liberia, Palau, Tanzania, Malta, Togo, Belize, the Comoros, Sierra-Leone, Cook Islands, Vanuatu.

Inland waterways were also entered by vessels under the flag of Russian Federation – tankers bringing oil products from Turkmenistan  (Turkmenbashi) to the Zaporizhzhia-based enterprise “Kombinat ”Zirka”.

By and large, in the case with these two ports there isn’t any entrance into inland waterways of Ukraine: for loading/unloading works the vessels go down along the sea channels, as well as ships heading to the maritime ports of Mykolaiiv and Kherson but along with this, they are not obliged to obtain any single permits. Besides that, unlike the ports located higher along the Dnipro river, river ports located near the sea channels are not dependent on duration of navigation, so loading and unloading were done here during the winter months. Those river ports, for which the navigation started in March, in fact serviced vessels under a foreign flag approximately 100 days during the first half of the year.

According to calculations by the Ports of Ukraine, the number of applications issued by the Maritime administration is almost twice as high as for the same period of the previous year. Then they were received by another structure– State Service of Ukraine for safety on transport. And for the first half on 2018 it issued 78 single permits for arrival of vessels under a foreign flag into the Ukrainian river ports. Along with that, the preponderance was on the side of Kherson and Mykolaiiv: there were only 27 applications for arrivals into the ports located far from sea channels. It means that during the first half of 2019 the number of arrivals into them has significantly grown – foreign owners lodged 70 applications.

In total, according to the applications for single arrival into the river ports of Ukraine, vessels under a foreign flag have transported approximately 400 thousand tonnes of various cargoes. From the ports located far from sea channels they have transported almost 200 thousand tonnes of cargoes, and approximately same amount accounts for the “pre-sluice” ports in Mykolaiiv and Kherson.

For comparison: over the same period of the previous year they transported 275,5  thousand tonnes of cargoes, out of which 193,4 thousand tonnes accounted for Kherson and Mykolaiiv, and for the rest  - only 82,1 thousand tonnes. Therefore, we can speak not only about growth of volume of transporting cargoes by vessels under a foreign flag but also about the fact that they started picking up significantly more cargoes from the river ports located far from sea channels.

This data itself cannot give a picture how the ratio of transporting cargoes from and to the river ports was changing – additional statistics is required for that. Nevertheless, according to the Ports of Ukraine, vessels under a foreign flag have not “bitten” off any significant volume from the vessels under the Ukrainian flag. In the industry, specialists tend to explain the trend by the fact that volume of reloading is growing, while the number of ships river-sea under the Ukrainian flag isn’t.

In particular, an interesting fact attracts the attention: the volume of transportation of grain under a foreign flag accounts for over 105 thousand tonnes, a significant part of which, over 73 thousand tonnes, accounts for the river ports located far from sea channel and sea raid.

Seaside river ports

In the  Mykolaiiv river port, for the half year  34 vessels under a foreign flag were processed. Freight turnover amounted to 63.3 thousand tonnes. Exported were metal products (48.5 thousand tonnes to Georgia), steel rolls (4 thousand tonnes to Turkey), scrap metal  (5 thousand tonnes for Turkish metal producing plants). Going to Turkey was also one vessel with a lot of bran (2.8 thousand tonnes). Fertilizers were a foreign freight – from Georgia and Turkey vessels under a foreign flad have delivered more than 56.5 thousand tonnes.

For the same period of the previous year 15 vessels under a foreign flag lodged the applications for arrival in port and they transported 43.8 thousand tonnes. From this quantity, metal products accounted for 21.5 thousand tonnes, scrap metal – 4.8 thousand tonnes. There were delivered 11.5 thousand tonnes of fertilizers. Besides that, 6 thousand tonnes of springhalt were delivered from Turkey.

In the Kherson river port for the period from 1 January 2019 to 1 July 2019 40 foreign vessels were processed which transported 132.6 thousand tonnes of freight. Exported to Turkey and Greece by vessels under a foreign flag were steel rolls and agricultural products, and from the ports of Turkey and Georgia fertilizers were delivered.  Those were 62 thousand tonnes of steel rolls, 24.8 thousand tonnes of bran and soya, as well as 51.2 thousand tonnes of ammonium nitrate and other fertilizers. A vessel carrying 6 thousand tonnes of sodium silicate went to Italy and from Turkey came a ship with 2,650 tonnes of marble chips.

For the same period in 2018 there were 29 applications for arrival from the foreign ship owners. Despite the fact that their number was smaller, the volume of freight in the Kherson river port was practically the same as for the current half year – 132.1 thousand tonnes. This can be explained by larger lots loaded onto the vessels under a foreign flag in the previous year. For the first half of the year in 2018 exported from the port were 49 thousand tonnes of metal products, 39.6 thousand tonnes of agricultural products (grain and oil-seed meal), 25.6 thousand tonnes of fertilizers and 17 thousand tonnes of sodium silicate.

Besides these two ports owned by JSSC “Ukrrichflot”, freight under a foreign flag was shipped from the “Tiagynskyi grain receiving enterprise” (Kherson). In February, on its quays 3 thousand tonnes of wheat were loaded and in May – 1.5 thousant tonnes of soya.

Last year, vessels under a foreign flag moored in Kherson to the quays of such companies as The First Kherson Shipbuilding Wharf, Investment company “Dniprovska Wave”, “Turukui”, where 17,5 thousand tonnes of scrap metal were loaded.

 Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and others

For the first half of 2019in the Zaporizhzhia river port (JSSC “Ukrrichflot”) 10 vessels of foreign owners transporting over 29 thousand tonnes of freight were received. Three vessels were loaded with steel products and rolls (by and large over 9 thousand tonnes). Four vessels delivered over 12 thousand tonnes of sodium bicarbonate from Turkey. Three more delivered lots of limestone (3 thousand tonnes), bauxites (2 thousand tonnes) and chemicals in big-bags (3.1 thousand tonnes).

Last year, there were 11 applications, in the port processed were more cargoes – 32 thousand tonnes. Those were 23 thousand tonnes of meral products and 9 thousand tonnes of imported lime and building materials.

In the Dnipropetrovsk river port (JSSC “Ukrrichflot”)  12 vessels under a foreign flag bearing 35 thousand tonnes of freight  were processed. Unloaded were three vessels with fertilizers (9 thousand tonnes). From Turkey shipped were two lots of marble chips 3 thousand tonnes each. And to Turkey went four ships with lots of wheat and maize (over 12 thousand tonnes) and three with steel products (over 8 thousand tonnes). . At the same time during the first half of 2018 only one ship under a foreign flag arrived into this port, it brought 2.9 thousand tonnes of marble chips from Turkey.

16 applications for mooring to the quays of the LLC “Akvarel” in the city of Dnipro were lodged from the beginning of the year. Lots of limestone, calcium carbonate, barite, dolomite and springhalt, in total 17 thousand tonnes, For export loaded were 28 thousand tonnes of maize and oil-seed meal. For the same period of the previous year there was only one application for unloading 2 thousand tonnes of building materials form a Turlish port.

14 more applications were lodged this year for loading and unloading at the quays of PJSC “River port” in the town of Kamianske in the Dnipropertovsk region. Loaded here were mainly steel billets- for export under a foreign flag to the Bulgarian port of Burgas were delivered over 28 thousand tonnes of this freight. Besides that, in the port for the export to Turkey were loaded 3 thousand tonnes of maize and 2,7 thousand tonnes of soya oil-seed meal. And unloaded were also two lots of Turkish cement 1 thousand tonnes each.  Last year no applications for single arrivals into this port were filed.

Seven applications were lodged during first half of 2019 for maintenance at the “Third expedition group of underwater and hydro-technical works” in Zaporizhzhia. All of them were intended for loading oil-seed meal for the export to Turkey, in total around 19 thousand tonnes. And again, for the same period a year before no applications were lodged by any foreign ship owners.

Besides that, two applications for the past half year were for the “Grain processing enterprise “Grain of Tavria” – for the shipment of two lots of soya 3 thousand tonnes each. Two lots of maize were loaded at the quays of the LLC “Smart-Dnipro”. In the Kremenchuk river port there were two unloadings of 1.7 thousand tonnes cement in big-bags from Turkey

Last year, Ukrtransbezpeka received no applications from foreign ships for those quays. However, there were applications for loading scrap metal in the Dniprianskyi river port located not far from Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, from there during the first half of 2018 10 thousand tonnes of freight were exported. .

Also, there were 4 arrivals of tankers for unloading diesel fuel and light oil products at the quays of the enterprise “Kombinat “Zirka” in Zaporizhzhia (over 17 thousand tonnes). This is less than a year before: for the first half of 2018, nine vessels under the Russian flag arrived bringing 32.6 thousand tonnes of oil products, Along with that, during last year tankers were bringing here cargoes not only from Turkmenbashi but also from Taganrog, but this year there were no cargoes from the Russian port.

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