The Ukrrichflot shipping line has begun coastal shipping of containerized cargoes (shipping between ports within the internal waters of Ukraine), the press service of the shipping line announced.

The first trial batch of containers for shipment to other Ukrainian ports was created at the Dnepropetrovsk river port in May.

A ship belonging to the Mechanic Cherevko company entered this port on May 24. "The full range of container loading and unloading operations were performed, including removal of empty containers from railway platforms, filling of the containers with a cargo of pig iron, and loading of the filled containers onto the ship," the press service said.

Billets were loaded into the holds of the vessel and the containers on its deck. The ship entered the HPC-Ukraine terminal at the Odessa seaport. The period of transit from Dnepropetrovsk to Odessa was 1.5 days, the press service said.

According to data from Ukrrichflot, the Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhe regions alone generate about 16% of the export container traffic and 11% of the import container traffic, which reach 33,000 TEU and 50,000 TEU, respectively, in absolute terms. The main types of goods are metal, titanium and zirconium ores, sunflower oil, and corn, as well as special steels, various products and components from plastic, exotic foods, household chemicals, ceramics, and glass.

The export-import turnover of containers through Ukrainian ports totaled 672,000 TEU at the end of 2014. Practically the entire volume was transported through the territory of the country by road and rail (approximately 75% by road and 25% by rail). Container transportation by river is not developed despite the fact that over 15 million people live in the regions adjacent to River Dnieper and large numbers of industrial enterprises are concentrated in these regions.