Having entered the stevedoring business last year, Novotrans Group of Companies (NGC), one of Russia’s largest privately run rail operators, has this year started regular handling of grain cargoes via the ferry terminal at the country’s Baltic port of Ust-Luga.
In June 2019, NGC acquired the Ust-Luga-based stevedoring company Global-Service, which was renamed Novotrans Stevedoring Company (NSC) in September last year. Since then, NGC has invested around US$1.5M to acquire dedicated grain handling equipment, upgrade the available machinery and expand NSC’s storage capacity.
As of end of May 2020, NGC has, handled more than 220 vessels (including 80 ferry calls), about 6,000 ro-ro units, over 10,500 rail cars and over 20,000t of bulk cargoes. Its overall handling volume has exceeded 850,000t.
Having rearranged its activity, NSC is now capable of handling daily entries of three ro-ro (1,600 railcars) and two motor ferries (2,400 autos), as well as four 5,000 dwt bulk carriers and 200 TEU of container cargoes a month.
Aiming to reach an annual volume of 1 Mtpa, NGC is planning to improve its handling technology and expand its business portfolio, according to the group’s president Konstantin Goncharov.
Considering the shortage of grain handling capacity at Russia’s Baltic harbours, Ust-Luga is likely to become a Baltic Sea gateway for Russian and Kazakh exporters, which have already started deliveries of oil meal, flax seeds and other grain cargoes via the local terminal to Germany, Belgium and other European markets.
With its total area of more than 30-ha, the terminal features 96,130 m2 of outdoor storages and over 8 km of rail approach lines.