22 Feb 2024 19:10

Danube container line exporting goods from Ukraine to launch in coming days - authorities

MOSCOW. Feb 22 (Interfax) - The first two vessels of the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) loaded with Ukrainian goods will depart along an alternative route on the Danube in the coming days, Ukrainian media quoted Deputy Prime Minister of Restoration - Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Alexander Kubrakov as saying on social media.

"We are already launching via the Danube in the coming days. [...] We will deliver containers by barges to the port of Constanta in Romania. Our first two vessels will depart in the coming days," Kubrakov said.

He said he hoped the delivery of goods bypassing Poland up the Danube to the ports in Germany and Austria would also begin in the near future.

"This is such an alternative route. Of course, the market needs to consider the economy. For their part, all our companies, all state-owned enterprises will meet the market halfway in order to make, accordingly, the most advantageous offers, understanding the situation our exporters are in," the deputy prime minister said.

It was previously reported that as the western border remains blocked, the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company proposes rerouting the cargo, formerly transported to EU countries by trucks, to river transport. UDP has developed three lines for barge caravans and sent commercial proposals to the largest road freight forwarders.

The proposed routes are Ukraine-Galati (Romania), Ukraine-Regensburg (southeastern Germany, Bavaria) and Ukraine-Constanta.

UDP plans to form additional barge convoys on container lines, which will provide for monthly delivery of 2,100 TEUs to Regensburg, or 5,900 TEUs to Constanta.

River transportation exclusively by the company fleet is an alternative to 2,000-5,000 trucks, the Ukrainian Restoration Ministry said.

Kubrakov said earlier that Ukraine was planning to open a new export route on the Danube to bypass the Polish border. He said Romania "is more predictable than the Polish border."

Six out of the nine checkpoints on the Polish-Ukrainian border have gradually been blocked in February in connection with protests by farmers in Poland. Transport flows from Ukraine and back are being diverted to other countries due to this.