Wednesday, November 20, 2013

US - Russia Ocean Container Shipping Service Opens as State Logistics Group Passes Freight Milestone

Direct LCL Offering from NVOCC as Rail Freight Spin Off Celebrates Three Year Anniversary
Shipping News Feature

US – RUSSIA – It is exactly three years since Russian Railways founded RZD Logistics since when the subsidiary operation’s rise has been pretty spectacular with over seven million tonnes of cargo transported. In the same week ocean freight container consolidator and NVOCC CaroTrans, has announced a direct, all-water LCL shipping service from New York to St. Petersburg.

First that sea freight service; shipping fortnightly the CaroTrans groupage package begins operating on November 23 with a three week transit time. The company says by transiting through St. Petersburg, the largest container port in Russia, exporters eliminate transhipment hub delays and the associated costs. CaroTrans, as the name suggests founded in Carolina in 1979 initially to serve the Puerto Rico market, now has a network of fourteen branch offices in North America supported by two dozen container freight stations and now extends it services over five continents.

CaroTrans says that Russia’s entrance into the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2012 brought greater confidence and stability to businesses and trading partners, as well as strengthened their place in the global economy. May 2013, CaroTrans announced its entrance into the Baltic, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Russia markets with a weekly LCL and FCL export service from New York. Currently, this service calls the Port of Riga in Latvia. This service represents CaroTrans’ first step in their development and investment in this growing trade area. Greg Howard, the group’s global CEO, commented:

“We’ve developed our service network in this significant growth region, Central Europe, the Baltics and Russia over the past several years to provide expedited, direct transportation solutions for our valued customers. This new service features reliable transits and a transparent rate structure. Early 2014, we plan to increase the NY to St. Petersburg service frequency to weekly.”

Meanwhile the Russian Railway group is celebrating that three year landmark and pointing out that RZD Logistics now has a portfolio of in excess of one thousand clients. In the three years the company has opened twenty one branches in Russia and launched three joint ventures, namely FELB, YuXinOu and EuroRailTrans in order to provide comprehensive international freight transit services.

In 2012 Russian Railways Logistics gained control over Far East Land Bridge (FELB), which has a unique pedigree in organising transit rail cargo forwarding via the Trans-Siberian corridor. Recently RZD Logistics in cooperation with FELB organised the container train project from China to Poland, as outlined in our article last month, in addition to other transit routes. RZD Logistics also became one of the owners of YuXinOu based in Chongqing (China) along with DB Schenker, Kaztransservice, CRIMT and Chongqing Transport Holding. Since launching this project 37 container trains were dispatched on the route Chongqing, China - Duisburg, Germany.

The company also focuses on creation of the high-speed routes to deliver goods in Russia, a feat often not attainable in many other countries. In the framework of this initiative RZD Logistics introduced a new multi-client express delivery service by rail from Moscow to Siberia and the Russian Far East whilst St. Petersburg - Yekaterinburg regular speedy container train services deliver cargo in just 60 hours. Currently the company is developing similar services on Perm-Moscow and Vladivostok–Moscow routes a strategy which RZDL believes may attract a significant amount of freight carried by other transportation modes over to rail.

Recently in cooperation with the North Caucasian direction of Terminal Warehousing Complex, RZDL introduced joint integrated project on receiving and handling cargo at the Olympic terminal yard ‘Sochinskiy’. In the framework of the new project, RZD Logistics also provides freight delivery and other services including forwarding by truck from warehouse to construction and Olympic sites.

So after three years, and having taken stock of the progress thus far, RZDL says it intends to focus on the development of more extensive logistics services, particularly outsourcing by clients, to include supply chain management, marketing and plant logistics. The company has been already providing such services to the Guardian Steklo Rostov plant and developing individual logistics service for FordSollers, a joint US/Russian venture founded in 2011 to produce Ford brand vehicles, in the Alabuga Special Economic Zone in the Republic of Tatarstan.

Photo: Containers sit on the quayside in St. Petersburg like multi coloured dominos.