bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 04.09.2015 | Name days: Dzintara, Dzintars, Dzintra
LithuaniaLithuania

Russian embargo shockwaves started crippling Lithuanian haulers

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULinas Jegelevičius fot the BNN

Russian embargo has punched Lithuanian haulers hard in the face – after staggering for a bit in shock, the heavy body of national logistics is starting to slump. This is an illustrative description, but it reflects best the situation among Lithuanian carriers, expecting help from the national Road Carriers’ Association (RCA) Linava.

Many still assessing the damage

Its vice-president Rimantas Martinavičius told BNN that here unusual calm has been lingering for the last three weeks since the announcement of Russian embargo in the sector.

«But now the silence is breaking up, as some haulers acknowledge they are being cornered up by Russian embargo. Meanwhile, others don’t send yet a Mayday call, but try to assess the blow and are working frenetically on business alternatives. But by the beginning of September when the association will hold an all-member meeting, I believe, we’ll start seeing the real toll,» Martinavičius told.

In fact, some of the haulers have already raised their hands up, handing their truckers pink slips.

As of early August 27, Vilnius-based logistics company Hofa was the first in the line to have publicly announced of mulling laying-off 210 of its workers, among them 120 drivers.»

«Nearly all our business activity was about fruit and vegetable exports to Russia. We transported the green goods to Russia and provided Russian market some other logistic services.  With the red flag up, our business is over,» said Dainius Drūteika, company’s director.

Over the last three weeks, the hauler saw disappearing most of the lucrative business orders. Of its 100 freezer-trucks usually riding the Russian roads, now only 20 of the fleet still crisscross Russia, but their near future in the country is dim. With the Russian cord cut off, the majority of workers have been idling.

«But as finding new markets and diverting to them takes quite some time, having the personnel cuts might be imminent», the businessman insisted.

Swapping markets is hard

And the alternatives that Hofa is now working strenuously on are not limitless, he says.

«The way-out of the plight is the same as before: turning around and heading to Europe. There aren’t just too many other options. The dreams about as far markets as Morocco, which we’d considered at some point in the past, can’t leave the realms of dreams, as we don’t have necessary permits to operate in the country,» said Druteika.

The company has done some commercial haulage as far as in the dangerous Afghanistan in the past.

And turning to Europe amid the crisis is far from being simple, the transporter noted.

«Work in Europe is absolutely different. Alike many Lithuanian logistic companies, we would need to become there part of large local transportation companies. When dealing with Russia, all the managers and drivers had to have a good command of Russian, and now they have to be taught decent English in order to be able to carry out the assignments in Europe. It is not simple,» the Hofa head told.

Some Lithuanian transport specialists, he noted, already toil for the biggest Western European logistic companies, but, as a rule, their duties ultimately boil down to the technical stuff – buying trucks, obtaining necessary licenses, hiring drivers and handing them over to the maternal company’s administration.

«This is how far the Lithuanians would be allowed proceed in the West», Druteika told.

Other haulers in worse plight

Meanwhile, Algimantas Kondrusevičius, Linava president, hoped that Hofa, which he characterized as a modern and experienced company, will manage to get out of the murky situation.

«There’re other transport companies, much smaller in size than Hofa, which now ended up being in a whole lot worse situation. They are not just 100 percent oriented to Russian market, but what makes things worse they carried only Lithuanian dairy products to Russia. For them, having worked with the closed circle of clients many years there, plunging into other markets is really uneasy. It is akin to plunging into a bush of nettles,» the association head spoke illustratively.

Unwilling to come up with any particular names, he insisted that there are «several dozen» haulers throughout the countryteetering on the brink of abyss.

«As a rule, they are medium-sized enterprises, employing 20-30 trucks, which without liaisons with the West, cannot be quickly steered to that direction,» Kondrusevičius told.

He told he knew a logistics company in Šiauliai, a city in northern Lithuania, which in the wake of Russian embargo has been running only three out of its 23 trucks.

«And there’s acuter competition among the drivers within the company,» he noted.

According to Linava, there are 27 thousand Lithuanian trucks on the international roads- around 7-8 thousand of them are refrigerated trucks.

An impressive one-third of the fleet whisked the goods to Russia until now.

Pleas for help sent

Facing the immediate aftermath of Russian embargo, some haulers have sent part of their truckers on forced leave or paid holidays. But the exact scope of the embargo-related layoffs will turn up in the early fall, Linava president warned.

«The transport business understands well that laying-off the drivers is tantamount to ruining the business, so all the companies in the sector do whatever they can find solution,» he said.

Nearly 2000 transport companies are registered in Lithuania, according to Martinavičius.

With the future becoming even gloomier, the haulers’ functionaries expect that Lithuanian Government will throw them a buoy in cushioning the severity of Russian sanctions.

«We really expect a reasonable behavior to the sector from the authorities as far as putting off tax payment is concerned,» he said.

Meanwhile, Robertas Dargis, president of Lithuania’s Industrialist Confederation (LIC), hinted that the actual scope of the aftermath of Russian sanctions could be assesses only around in a month from now.

But he insisted Lithuania is likely to avoid the worst blow, like the ones that Lithuania had dealt with amid the 1998 Russian economy downturn.

He says the business now comprehends well Russian market’s risks and therefore has diversified their business activities since 1998.

Russia can’t be disavowed

Dargis cautioned all at a LIC meeting early in the week not to completely cut the ties with Russia.

«While assessing the risks and dangers, it is advisable to maintain the dialogue with Russian businessmen…We all should speak of what awaits us all in the future,» the LIC head said.

So far transportation, as well as dairy, stockbreeding and vegetable farming have been ill-effected most by Russian embargo, according to Marius Skarupskas, the deputy Economy minister, who spoke at the LIC meeting.

He said the government has a stack of measures aiming to ease the sectors’ existence. Among them is hiring of foreign consultants tasked with making the transit to foreign markets easier-but he stopped short of saying whether the Social-Democratic government is going to respond to the embargo-hit sector’s tax alleviations or postponement pleas.

Lithuanian businessmen are cry-babies

But some Lithuanian prominent economists bristle against a thought of aiding the troubled sectors at the expense of others.

«I look at it realistically. It is not new that Lithuanian businessmen plea for help. It’s been always like that, regardless of whether Russian sanctions are into effect or not. I’d say whimpering is an exceptional characteristic of national business. But being aware that Lithuanian governments are virtually catering to the needs of cry-babies, I can bet that Government will give in to the sectors’ pleas. It will come at the expense of the public sectors-teachers, professors and doctors,» Aušra Maldeikienė, a prominent economist, told BNN.

Ref: 020/111.111.103.1448


Leave a reply

  1. Linda says:

    How is Kalingrad getting supplies? Closing borders here?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Some of the refugees coming to Latvia may be Muslims

It is not impossible that some of the 250 refugees meant for resettlement in Latvia will be Muslims. However, religious belief is not the main criterion by which refugees will be approved or disapproved for entry in Latvia, says State Secretary to Latvian Interior Ministry Ilze Petersone-Godmane.

Danish entrepreneur sentenced to prison in Liepaja for paedophilia

Even before the public reveal of the ruling of Liepaja Court of Justice in regard to two paedophiles – father and son – and their sentence to public service, the court had another criminal case. In it, a 46-year-old Danish entrepreneur was sentenced to an actual prison sentence for paedophilia, as reported by Kurzemes Vārds.

Industrial production volume up 8.3% in Latvia

Compared to June, industrial production volume had increased by 2.8% in July.

Russia at UN opposed to limiting use of veto

Russia has on September 2 rejected at the UN Security Council France's proposal to limit the use of veto powers in cases of mass atrocity.

KNAB indirectly confirms requesting criminal prosecution of Lembergs and Slesers

Chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Yarosvlav Strelchenok has indirectly confirmed that the bureau has asked the prosecutor’s office to launch criminal prosecution of Aivars Lembergs and Ainars Slesers.

LRA calls to establish defence funding at 2% of GDP on legislative level

Latvian Regional Alliance has voiced an initiative for necessary changes to the State Defence Funding Law in order to legislatively guarantee defence funding at 2% of GDP starting with 2018.

Estonian minister envisages state companies free of politicians

With the Estonian port corruption case in full swing, the country's economy minister has expressed the need to reorganise the management system of state-owned firms involving the depolitisation of company supervisory boards.

Latvian Saeima to gather for the first meeting of the autumn session

On Thursday, 3 September, Latvian Saeima will gather for the first meeting in this year’s autumn session. During this meeting, it is planned to view Civil Protection and Catastrophe Prevention Law and Intangible Cultural Heritage Law.

Hungary in confusion over migrant influx; 2 000 stranded at railway station

Around 2,000 people have been stranded at a railway station in Budapest, as Hungary insists it is enforcing EU law and seeks clarification on whether migrants can continue to Germany.

Photo insight into Stradins Hospital’s A-Ward construction site

SBRE has begun the first stage of construction of A-Ward of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital. Surface construction is already completed. This has allowed builders to begin work on assembly of exterior wall panels and façade.

Number of passengers carried by public transport in Latvia down 2.3%

In the first half of 2015, the total number of passengers carried by public transport in Latvia decreased by 2.3%.

Consumption of renewable energy sources in Latvia up 12% in last decade

In 2014 consumption of renewable energy sources in Latvia amounted to 68 petajoules. Affected by increase in the production of fuel-wood, RES consumption has grown by 1.2% as compared to 2013. Compared to 2004, RES consumption in Latvia has increased by 12%.

Rigas satiksme struck by second paedophilia scandal

The man arrested by police for spreading pornographic images, including those of children, in May 2015 worked at Rīgas satiksme, according to information from LETA.

SEB: among Baltic States, Latvia is the most flexible against Russian sanctions

Next year’s GDP growth will speed up in all three Baltic States. Nevertheless, the rate will remain moderate, reaching its potential only by 2017. Private consumption growth will maintain growth in Baltic States, predicts SEB Bank economist Dainis Gaspuitis.

Police find violations in company whose employee caused major traffic accident in Gulbene

During an inspection at ADZT, the company whose employee had caused a terrible traffic accident that killed three people in Gulbene last week, Latvian State Police uncovered multiple violations.

Estonian port corruption investigation involves Polish shipyard

Corruption investigation against the former management of Estonian state port company Port of Tallinn has spread involving a search at Polish shipyard Remontowa in Gdansk. According to ERR, this is the shipyard that won a tender to build two new ferries for the Port of Tallinn.

PM: KNAB sees Belevics’ possible conflict of interest in reformation of State Agency for Medicines

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has stated in its report that Latvian Healthcare Minister Guntis Belevics may end up in a conflict of interests if his proposals for reformation of the State Agency of Medicines is successful, notes Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.

SES publishes video showing change of guard at southern tar pond

In order to prove wrong the public information reported by Skonto būve on the way Latvian State Environmental Service replaced security at southern tar pond, SES has published a video that shows the entire process.

KNAB requests criminal prosecution possibly against Slesers and Lembergs

Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has possibly asked Prosecutor General’s Office to launch criminal prosecution of ex-politician Ainars Slesers and Aivars Lembergs in the so-called oligarchs case.

Poroshenko defends decentralisation; Kyiv violence deathtoll rises

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on September 1 voiced strong support to controversial legislation giving more autonomy to pro-Russian rebels that sparked deadly street battles in Kyiv. Two more policemen died of injuries suffered during the clashes, rising the deathtoll to three victims after deadliest violence in post-Maidan Kyiv.

Board of Preili hospital submits resignation

Chairman of the Board of Preili Hospital, Janis Anspoks, and Board members Aldis Dzerins and Lilita Seile have submitted their resignations. With that, they are no longer in charge of the hospital.

Straujuma does not support HM’s plans to reorganize State Agency of Medicines

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma does not support Healthcare Ministry’s plans to take over certain functions of the State Agency for Medicines, including its licensing function.

Latvian police caught paedophile responsible for multiple assaults on boys

Latvian State Police has detained a man who is suspected of sexually abusing multiple boys, as reported by Chief of State Police Ints Kuzis.

Unemployment in Eurozone down to its lowest level of last three years

Eurozone’s seasonally adjusted unemployment level has declined to 10.9% in July, as compared with June’s 11.1%.

In pictures: September 1 in schools in Latvia and abroad

BNN offers you an insight into photo impressions from schools Latvia and abroad from Kyiv to New York.

Newest comments

Will Estonia achieve Kohver's release before the 15-year prison term in Russia?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: