Will the state be a partner in developing ferry shipping on the Black Sea?
During the meeting Minister Maksim Burbak, Chairman of the Administration of Marine ports of Ukraine Andrey Amelin and the leading specialists of the Ministry have been familiarized with the activities of ferry shipping people in Odessa. Leaders of the Ministry have been presented with a number of reports describing the state of affairs uptodate and looking into the prospects of the ferry shipping on the Black Sea. As is known, ferries of Ukrferry maintain services between Ukraine and Georgia, Turkey and Bulgaria with this Odessa-based company being the leader in the segment of Black Sea shipping for many years now.
It has been pointed out that the company is responsible for 40% ferry shipping in the Black sea area. Each year brings new itineraries and cooperation with a number of major EU ferry companies develops successfully.
Nevertheless, concern has been voiced at the meeting over a number of issues present in Ukrainian shipping affecting cargoflow over the last years. These include high port charges for ferries, prolonged port formalities for cargo/passengers, inadequate in-port ferry infrastructure, problems in obtaining bunkers for the ferries. It has been mentioned that the neighboring countries (Russia in particular) are paying great attention to developing ferry shipping including itineraries linking the port of Russia with the Crimea, Georgia and Turkey.
During the meeting President of SC Ukrferry Alexander Kurlyand has expressed his desire for the Ministry of Infrastructure to adopt in Ukrainian ports the practice of Baltic Sea states charging port dues from the ferries depending on the number of port calls. The general rule behind the principle is the more port calls, the lower port dues the vessel is charged. The following information was cited as an example: one call to a Baltic port for a car/pax ferry vessel (accommodating up to 100 railcars /95 trucks) working on a fixed itinerary costs an average of USD 3700 confronted by USD 15000 for a port call to Ukrainian Illyichevsk. More flexible approach is displayed there towards operators who start new services encouraging transit capabilities of their countries. Ukrferry hopes that this experience will be studied by the Ministry of Infrastructure.
In the conclusion all participants of the meeting voiced their interest in maintaining partnership between state organizations and private maritime companies for the purpose of successful development of Ukrainian maritime ferry shipping which is a vital element of transport infrastructure of the country.
The first broadcast in a series of reports on the Black Sea of the famous British media corporation BBC, recorded in June 2017 on board ferries of “Ukrferry”, as well as in Odessa, Georgia and Turkey has been released.