New capacity enters ‘thriving’ Russian container sector

While much has been written about how oil, gas, coal and grain trades have changed in the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been little spotlight on the container sector.

Within weeks of the first shots being fired in eastern Europe most global liners announced they were pulling out of the Russian market, with a notable exception, Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), the world’s largest containerline, which has made a fortune from the elevated rates in and out of the world’s largest country.

Data from Linerlytica shows MSC’s strong ongoing presence in Russia, as well as the emergence of plenty of new capacity from local players.

“Freight rates to Russia remain highly elevated and new capacity continues to flow into the Russian trade with the latest newcomers Safetrans, Torgmoll/New New, Reel Shipping and OVP Shipping adding ships to the trade as congestion at the Russian Far East gateways of Vladivostok and Vostochny have generated demand for new services from Asia to the Black Sea and Baltic gateways of Novorossiysk and St Petersburg,” analysts at Linerlyica noted in its most recent weekly report.

Safetrans, a Transfar affiliate, is the latest to join the fray as capacity withdrawn from the transpacific route is diverted to the Russian trades.

MSC retains a considerable presence in the Russian trades with feeder operations in all three Russian gateways with Linerlytica describing the Russian freight scene as “thriving”.

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