Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals multifunctional cargo transshipment centre continues its work this year on a wave of positive results. This year, the terminal plans to introduce a new transport line to offer existing carriers and increase cargo turnover.
This new transport line will offer Latvian regional exporters stability for the delivery of their goods in the UK, Benelux countries, as well as France and Germany using Swedish Orient Line, as Dienas Bizness was informed by NNVT board member Maris Katranzi.
The Swedish company has announced that it will open a new regular shipping line for Ro-Ro cargoes for the Ventspils- Zeebrugge (Belgium)-Tilbury (UK). The first shit is set to depart on 21 January. It is planned that it will be active once a week.
«SOL is an old Swedish shipping company. It specializes on servicing large Swedish paper exporters like Stara Enso in the Baltic Sea. Similar to other players in the industry, the company has become more active in the attraction of over cargoes,» – Katranzi said.
He told Dienas Bizness that it is possible that transportation costs may be lower in comparison with road haulage. For example, it will be possible to use low-platform trailers on wheels with 60 tons lifting capacity. This would allow the carrier to transport 1.5-2 times more goods for the price equal to container cargo haulage. At the same time, Latvian exporters will be provided with more stable services, because the prices of road haulage are not stable.
In his interview, Katranzi also mentioned that this new line will benefit the terminal as well, considering that another Swedish company – Stena Line – has nearly halted contacts with Germany. This is understandable, as Stena Line intends to increase shipments from Liepaja to compete with Klaipeda.
«The terminal was originally built to service containers, but it has been performing its main function only minimally. This is because container lines prefer Riga,» – Katranzi told Dienas Bizness. Because of that, it is not possible to create a full container service in Ventspils. In any case, it would be a niche product for regional exporters. Local companies are NNVT’s priority segment. Regional companies carry container products to Riga. It would be impossible to reorient them to Ventspils, Katranzi explained further.
NNVT currently transships lumber, scrap metal bulk cargo (iron ore products), covered bulk segment (granules, grains). The terminal has processed above 6,500 tons of general cargoes in the first seven days of 2017. This means more than 300 wagons carrying spare parts from three oil platforms relocated from Russia to the Near East.
The only major obstacle for NNVT’s business development is the lack of an enclosed warehouse. Dienas Bizness was told that freezer units located at the terminal are currently used for grain transports.
«I cannot say it is easier to work in Ventspils than it is in Riga. Headaches here are different from those in the capital,» – Katranzi said. According to him, stevedores have no lack of imagination – a restricted area has been created for bulk cargo handling. A crane has also been adapted to lift bulk cargoes.
The terminal also plans to take on more workers this year to help raise productivity.