12 Freight Terminals on the Danube

by Meifan Honcharuk
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
12 Freight Terminals on the Danube

Upgrading port infrastructure to attract more investors and shippers

Before the full-scale attack by Russia, the ports of Odesa accounted for 50% of Ukrainian exports, the Danube 25%, and the rest by railways. Danube ports were not so popular for 2 reasons: high cost and insufficient bottom depth. The maximum transhipment of products (not only agricultural) at that time was ≈ 20 million tons.

Due to the blockade of Odesa ports, Ukraine has begun to open new terminals at 3 Danube ports: Izmail, Reni and Ust-Danube. In order to attract new shippers and investors to the Danube terminals, Ukraine needs to lower prices for the cost of their services. Large ship parties will solve this issue. The bottom of the terminals needs to be deepened to receive such a quantity of ships. Before starting dredging, Ukraine is required to obtain permission from Romania, which has long blocked such procedures by the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context.

"Besides, we need to get the possibility of round-the-clock passage of ships through the Romanian Sulina canal. One of the options, for example, the vessel enters Sulina, is loaded at Ukrainian ports and follows through the Ukrainian part into the sea already with cargo," Serhiy Vovk, head of the Center for transport strategies of Ukraine.

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