The Russian Railways is confirming a significant slowdown in transshipment of cargo at Russia’s Black Sea ports because of problems involving provision of fleet and the technological backwardness of transshipment facilities and terminals. In particular, according to the Russian Railways, the most difficult situation remains at the Novorossiysk transport hub, where the fall in the unloading volume in November alone exceeded 9,000 railcars compared with the established processing capabilities.

"The main reasons for the unsatisfactory organization of the operations of ports are untimely provision of merchant fleet, failure of the technical levels of loading and unloading mechanisms to correspond to the increased volumes of traffic, and insufficient upgrades to allow all-weather - independent of storms - unloading of railcars," the Russian Railways said.

"Under favorable weather conditions and timely supply of trains, the unloading volume at the Novorossiysk port’s terminals does not exceed 1,300 railcars. Unloading of fuel oil at the Novorossiysk Fuel-Oil Terminal has practically ceased and unloading of grain cargoes at the Novorossiysk Grain Terminal and the Novorossiysk Bakery does not correspond to their processing capabilities. The volume of unloading of ferrous metals at the Novorossiysk Commercial Seaport is 50 railcars less than its processing capability and 70 railcars less than the actual loading volume in November," the company added.

The number of trains to the Novorossiysk transport hub that have been delayed has not reduced. Some trains idle for more than 10 days.

In addition, the number of railcars available to the Tuapse Commercial Seaport is overstated because of failure to ensure their unloading, and more than 25 trains have been stopped.

The company has informed federal executive government agencies and stevedoring companies of the urgent need to ensure speedy delivery of fleet and reception of goods arriving by rail.