The Center for Transport Strategies (CFTS) and the Maritime Logistics company are launching a joint project called the Black Sea Indicator. Its principal goal is to monitor cargo flows and provide a comparative analysis of ship calls at ports in Ukraine and the Azov-Black Sea basin of Russia. The data will be updated every month, and it will show the total deadweight tonnage, number, and main types of vessels processed in the ports per month. The data will be compared with the data from the pre-war year 2021.
The primary task of the partnership project between the CFTS and Maritime Logistics is to provide high-quality and accurate information about the maritime logistics market. It is designed not only to increase the professional community’s awareness of market trends, but also to draw the public's attention to important issues related to the country’s maritime logistics.
"We took two major indicators - the deadweight tonnage for the month and the dynamics until 2021 - as a benchmark. This is an important indicator of the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the sanctions against the aggressor country. For now, we can say that the sanctions policy is rather ineffective: the latest data for April show that the country sanctioned by the civilized world is increasing its cargo turnover while cargo volumes at Ukrainian ports, which are blockaded because of the war, have halved," CFTS Director Serhii Vovk said.
Russian seaports in the Black Sea-Azov basin processed ships with a total deadweight tonnage of 35.9 million tons in April, which is almost 1% more than the average monthly indicator in 2021. Ukrainian ports processed ships with a total deadweight tonnage of only 5.2 million tons in April, which is 81% less than the figure for the pre-war year 2021. In addition, the number of ship calls at Russian ports increased to 2,363 in April this year. The figure for Ukrainian ports during the same period is only 328.
"Our company always sets itself the task of being at the forefront of innovation in the industry and providing quality services to our customers. The new project with the CFTS, which involves the provision of analytical data on the trends in the maritime logistics market, is one of the initiatives that will help us achieve these goals.
"With practical experience in ship management, freight brokerage, and ship agency, we began actively analyzing and researching trends in the freight market over three years ago. Our company gathers and analyzes large volumes of data, which allows us to understand trends and events taking place in the market.
"We are also willing to share our analytical data with other companies in the industry for the benefit of the public and the development of the country as a whole. This may help to attract new investments and increase interest in the development of maritime logistics in Ukraine," Maritime Logistics’ Director Anton Shapran said.
It should be noted that Ukraine has been insisting on full restoration of freedom of commercial navigation in the Black Sea for months.
"We draw the international community’s attention to the fact that the blocking of commercial shipping, even in wartime, grossly violates the international conventions to which Ukraine is also a party. We once again call on the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, which is the guarantor of global shipping safety, to do everything possible to reopen the Black Sea to commercial shipping," Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Community Development, Territories, and Infrastructure Yurii Vaskov said recently.
Ukrainian business representatives also believe that there should be freedom of navigation for all in the Black Sea basin. Otherwise, the same ship inspection and registration requirements that currently apply to ships heading to Ukrainian ports should also apply to ships heading to Russian ports.
We also note that Russian ports did not lose freight transshipment volumes last year despite the imposition of Western sanctions on it. The general structure of the cargo turnover of the Russian ports in the Azov-Black Sea basin has changed little.
Therefore, it is necessary to establish a system for permanently monitoring the imposition of sanctions and their implementation, as well as to increase the pressure on Ukraine’s international partners (particularly Turkey) to ensure that the same rules apply to all countries conducting trade through Black Sea ports.