GAC Russia expands eastwards opening two new branches
In pursuit of expanding its service GAC Russia has opened new branches at Nakhodka and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. This latest development means it is the only ship agent with a presence throughout the interconnected Arctic region and Far East: at Murmansk, Kandalaksha, Sabetta, and now Nakhodka and the capital of the Sakhalin region, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Group said in a press release.
Arkady Podkopaev, GAC Russia’s General Manager, says: “GAC has been active in Russia since 2001 and has built a strong network of offices in the European part of the country. The time is now right for us to expand eastwards to provide the GAC brand of professional ship agency and husbandry services to our customers operating in the Far East, which has a coastline of over 5,000 miles and covers 22 maritime ports.”
As the Russian Federation focuses on developing political and economic relations with the Asia-Pacific region, the country’s Far East has moved to the top of the agenda.
The region includes a Free Port Zone established in 2015 covering Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Korsakov and several other ports. Close to the borders with China, Japan, and Korea, the area is a hub for trade with imports coming in from Asia, which are transferred to other vessels or the Trans-Siberian Railway, one of the region’s key transportation lanes, for distribution to the rest of the vast nation. The Free Port Zone aims to boost trade and shipping activities with tax benefits, single windows for border control, duty free, tax free import/export, and simplified visa procedures.
Podkopaev adds: “The region offers a wealth of business opportunities for our integrated services, and those opportunities are set to become even more plentiful as a result of the Free Port Zone.”
Sakhalin Island is home to Russia’s first LNG plant exporting to Asian countries. Most of the export of crude oil in the Far East is arranged from the Kozmino terminal near Nakhodka to where crude is delivered by the Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean pipeline from the Siberian fields. Most of Sakhalin Island’s hydrocarbon resources are located offshore.
GAC Russia draws on the international oil & gas experience and expertise of the global GAC Group to offer integrated shipping and logistics services to the region’s offshore projects.
Operations at the two new GAC bases are guided and coordinated by Michael Khmelkov in his new role as Shipping Director charged with the company’s expansion to ports in new areas. GAC Russia’s 24-hour ship agency dispatcher service based in Novorossiysk has been extended to the Far East area to maintain communication channels and facilitate a prompt response to customers’ needs.
The GAC Group, created in Kuwait by Swedish entrepreneur Bengt Lindwall in 1956 is a leading provider of integrated shipping, logistics, marine and related services. The Group operates globally through more than 300 offices in 50 countries with 9,000 staff. GAC’s geographical expansion strategy is achieved through organic / opportunistic growth, joint ventures, partnerships and acquisitions.