The Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia) has introduced three conventions on shipment of grain to the Chornomorsk and Olvia seaports from the end of July, arguing that "shippers are using grain carriers as warehouses on wheels."

Ukrzaliznytsia announced this in response to a request from the CFTS portal to explain the reason for its decision to impose restrictions on the sending of wagons to these seaports.

“The lack of long- and medium-term planning, the creation of warehouses on wheels, and the insufficient capacity of loading/unloading areas in the ports are the reasons for the grain paralysis that takes place annually during the harvest season. As a result, Ukrzaliznytsia has had to introduce three conventions for subsequent loading of wagons for a number of consignees: at the Chornomorsk-Port station, the recipient TBT has been banned from loading from July 31 to August 1; at the Zhovtneva station, the recipient Nick-Tera has been banned from loading from July 31 to August 4 and the recipient Asket Shipping from July 31 to August 3," Ukrzaliznytsia said.

"The biggest problem is not even traction or wagons but the fact that we pull 11,000 wagons into seaports chaotically and 400 wagons are not unloaded daily. The number near ports will double tomorrow and triple the day after tomorrow... There should be clear, comprehensible planning following the example of unit trains,” said Andrii Riazantsev, Ukrzaliznytsia’s director of business development.

"We are not experiencing a shortage of locomotives. We cannot transport 10 million tons of grain in one month no matter how much we want to. We can transport 4 million tons or maybe 4.5 million tons. We, on our part, are increasing our fleet, but the market must understand that it, too, must work on creation of processing and storage capacities for its products," Riazantsev said in an earlier interview with the CFTS portal.

Ukrzaliznytsia also said that transport workers and business associations were scheduled to meet on August 2 to resolve issues related to optimization of the operations of railway stations and the creation of grain routes. Three business associations were invited to the meeting: the European Business Association, the Ukrainian Grain Association, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

As reported earlier, Ukrzaliznytsia for the first time in 2019 imposed large-scale restrictions on transportation of grain to seaports on July 31.