Kaliningrad Port Facilities

The complex of port facilities of Kaliningrad Region is a unique phenomenon. Being located on the separated «island», it provides for transportation of cargos of the «great Russia». The turn-over of cargos has increased three-fold for the last three years, its potential development looks optimistic, and the up-to-date innovation and management projects are the best evidence for that.

Kaliningrad Sea Port has celebrated its anniversary which coincided with the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad city. The history of the port began on 20 June 1945 when the creation of a new civil port on the Baltic Sea was officially proclaimed. More than 400,000 tons of cargos were transported via the Port in the first year after the Second World War.

Initially the Kaliningrad Port developed in the environment of big competing companies. Klaipeda, Riga, Ventspils, Tallinn and Muuga on the east, and the Polish Gdyna-Gdansk on the west, attracted the flows of cargos to themselves. The port facilities in Kaliningrad developed under strategic government plans, and received large-scale allocations from the state budget. Kaliningrad operated in the area of coasting trade, fishing and research vessels, and supported Soviet foreign trade (the Port was closed for foreign vessels up to 1991).

There was only one way out from the situation: to improve the re-loading technology. In 1949 the Kaliningrad Port which succeeded in introducing new cargo loading technologies ranked among the best ports of the Soviet Union. Their experience in the short-time processing of cargos was approved by the Collegium of the Marine Fleet Ministry and was extrapolated to the ports throughout the country.

The 60’s were the period of introducing new forms of management. Complex work teams of dockers/mechanic workers were formed at that time, and modern equipment was supplied to the Port. The problem typical to Kaliningrad - limited parameters of the marine seafaring channel - was solved by implementing the system of partial unloading of large-tonnage marine vessels on roads. In 1966 the port was transferred to a new system of planning with efficiency incentives involved, and new methods and materials for packetization of cargo were applied at the initiative of the port’s technologists.

The transportation centre was created on the basis of the port, which enabled to improve fleet processing regime. The complex mechanical technology for pulp re-loading developed at the port was recognized to be the best in the industry.

The automatic grips for tubes invented by Vladimir Ryabinin, the port’s constructor, were recommended for use in all national ports. In accordance with the Order issued by the Ministry of the Navy, Port of Kaliningrad was declared in 1978 to be the industry’s basic company for introducing efficient labor methods.

After the collapse of the USSR, Kaliningrad remained the only unfreezing port of Russia. The port was engaged in processing new cargo flows: containers, bulked cargos, acquiring new work methods to fit international standards. In a comparatively short period of time the complex for reception of «ro-ro» vessels and ferries, the passenger terminal, bulked cargos terminal, some new covered storage premises, and the first stage of container terminal were built.

In order to work at equal basis with major foreign competitors, it is necessary to implement information technologies for transport and logistics, to facilitate the customs procedures and, in particular, to increase investments. Subsidiary companies of Russian power engineering giants are general investors. «LUKOIL– KMN» built a new terminal for oil export, and «Gas-Oil» JSC (Gazprom) built a terminal for re-loading bulk cargos.

The project for creating a railway/motor road/ferry link between Russia, Kaliningrad and ports of Germany is a major investment project. Its total value exceeds 3.5 billion Rubles (which is comparable to an annual budget of Kaliningrad Region). Conversion of the military port of Baltijsk is conducted within the frames of the project: automobile ferry link is operating there already, and a railway/ferry link is currently under construction. A harbor with more deep-water has been selected on the Vostochny peninsula in the vicinity of Baltijsk, whose purpose is to accept cargo ferries (the planned cargo turnover is 1.5 mil. tons). Ferries will be bound there from the railway terminal in Ust-Luga.

Russian Railways OJSC will invest more than 900 mil. Rbl. in 2005 in the modernization of passage ways to the port’s terminals. (Export cargos cover about 50% of cargo flows of Kaliningrad Railway). Mechanized control over movement of cars and automated safety control system are supposed to help to increase cargo flows through the port.

To provide for the development of the port complex facilities, «Rosmorport» is starting large-scale work for deepening the bottom which will cost more than $3 mil., and this will allow accepting vessels of 20-30,000 tons DWT.

Far-reaching plans of various operators are explained by the development of container transportation. Kaliningrad Sea Commercial Port is a local monopolist. In the 1st quarter of 2005 the Port processed 14, 634 individual containers. «Rosmorport» announced intention to create a container terminal in Baltijsk. Similar plans are being discussed by the administration of Kaliningrad Fishing Port. It was announced recently that the port is considering the possibility of building a container terminal of the capacity up to 1 million 20lb (TEU) containers annually.

It goes without saying that the above container volume will provide only for transit cargo flows. For the purpose to attract these flows, the project of the container train called Mercury has been developed. The train is to be formed in Kaliningrad and Klaipeda simultaneously, and to be bound for Moscow. The new train is supposed to cover the distance from Kaliningrad to Moscow in 3-4 days, which will shorten the times for delivery of containers to Russia three-fold. In addition, simplified customs procedures, as well as lowered security rates will be applied to Mercury cargos on transit routes.

The launch of the container train is one of the aspects of the so-called 2K Agreement. The preparation arrangements for signing this Agreement have been conducted since 1999, and its subject-matter is to agree upon railway tariffs for cargos bound for two neighboring harbors: Kaliningrad and Klaipeda in Lithuania. Elements of joint management and marketing policy are to be implemented in accordance with the 2К. Lithuania is more interested in the Agreement: despite the free economic zone status and the 130 mil. Euro investments, its cargo turnover is falling. Carriers are leaving for Kaliningrad.

The signing of the 2К Agreement will enable to create stable conditions for the development of the transportation business. In addition, Kaliningrad Port and Klaipeda Port will be able to jointly promote themselves local and international markets. And, the last but not the least, they will jointly compete with the ports of Latvia and Estonia.

Kaliningrad Port pins hopes on a new edition of the Federal Law On a Special Economic Zone in Kaliningrad Region, prepared by the Ministry of Economic development and trade. Amendments to the Law are supposed to award the Special Economic Zone status to the cargo-owners who send their cargos through ports in Kaliningrad Region. Therefore, they will be exempt from the profit tax during the first 6 years, and they will enjoy a 50% discount rate of this tax during the following 6 years. The above amendment envisages tax preferences for the revenues of cargo owners who re-load large-volume of cargos in the ports of Kaliningrad Region (at least 300,000 ton per year).

The above privileges are aimed at increasing the investment in further development of the whole port complex of facilities of the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea.

The editor board of Maritime Market magazine would like to thank the press-office of Kaliningrad Sea Port and the press-center of «Kaliningrad 750» for their assistance in preparing this material.

Go to Index of # 2(12) 2005


# 2(12), 2005