Ruscon Increases Business During Russian Sanctions
Intermodal operator Ruscon has increased its market share in Russia, maintaining a strong position in a country which has seen imports fall by 20 percent in the last 12 months. Compared to 28,498 containers in the first quarter of 2014, Ruscon has handled 32,250 laden containers in the same period this year.
Vladimir Bychkov, CEO of GCS, Ruscon’s parent company, says that handling a higher than average volume of import goods also benefits its ability to handle export business.
“Imports have fallen but export demand has grown since the devaluation of the rouble and the fall in oil prices. So there is a shortage of empty containers for exports. Our strong position in the import market means we are able to access empty containers more easily and build our market share” says Mr Bychkov.
Ruscon performed particularly well in handling containers arriving at Russian Pacific ports, despite overall volumes at Vladivostok and Vostochniy falling by 20 percent.
As a result of launching weekly, fixed day blocks train between Moscow and Vostochniy in the second half of 2014, Ruscon’s volumes almost tripled.
The majority of Ruscon’s business is handled through the Black Sea Port of Novorossiysk. Total container volumes through the port fell by 14.5 percent, but Ruscon increased its business to 22,989, up from 20,403 in the first quarter of 2014.
The Port of St Petersburg saw the greatest decline overall in the quarter, falling 28.6 percent, largely as a result of collapsed oil prices as well as economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.
Mr Bychkov attributes Ruscon’s success to a well balanced structure of customers, with nearly equal proportions of export and imports, as well as to strong relationships with the major customers and carriers.