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Sunday 22.10.2017 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa

Lusis: capacity of Russian ports is not limitless

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUCompetition in the transit industry has undoubtedly become sharper lately. Nevertheless, there will be cargoes headed in Latvia’s direction, predicts chairman of Latvijas Dzelzceļš subsidiary enterprise LDz Logistics Verners Lusis.

When asked how he views the state of competition in the region and Russia’s offered discounts to Belarus in exchange for sending cargoes through Russian, not Baltic ports, Lusis said competition has become sharper. «I do not agree with pessimists who say there will be no ports. Let’s look at Belarus and Russia. The infrastructure at Ezerishke border checkpoint in Belarus is outdated. Its restoration requires time. Russian railway’s offered discounts can be viewed as a method to ensure more beneficial conditions for Latvian ports,» – added the head of the company.

According to him, there will be changes to cargo flow soon. «Russia supplies oil to Belarus for processing under the condition that the country sends part of its cargoes through Russian ports, not just Baltics. Belarus has a principle to focus primarily on its internal market, then send what’s left to Baltic ports,» – Lusis said.

Speaking of competition with Lithuania, he said the country actively works in Belarus. «Previously our cooperation with Belarus relied more on railway connectivity. Lithuania actively cooperates with Belarus by attracting cargoes in different ways agreed on with clients. Establishment of personal contacts is one such approach. We had previously focused on the business segment. As the market situation changes in 2017, LDz will establish an office in Belarus to actively work with local clients. I believe we will definitely develop cooperation in this direction,» – Lusis added.

In relation to Russia’s announcements regarding plans to divert more cargoes to its own ports, Lusis noted that their capacity is not limitless. «This is best described with an example – Ukrainian and Baltic ports transship 150 million tons together. It is not possible for Russia to increase the capacity of its own ports by 150 million. In any case, our ports will see cargoes. It’s all simple arithmetic. Why is there an increase in coal shipments in Latvia? It’s because coal prices are up and the Far East can no longer handle volumes. Many clients were forced from terminals – only the big ones remain. Smaller clients were forced out and are no longer serviced. This is why they now turn to Latvia, which offers better services,» – Lusis concluded.

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