• 2015 July 9

    Sochi welcomes Turkish ferries

    Commercial Seaport of Sochi OJSC is set to revive freight-and-passenger service at Sochi (Russia) - Trabzon (Turkey) line. Both the Turkish side and the Russian business partners support the service revival and demonstrate their willingness to proceed to action. However, the project is opposed by Sochi Administration concerned about additional load on city roads.  

    Sochi is a freight-and-passenger port. Commercial Seaport of Sochi OJSC has for decades been among few enterprises of Sochi to feed the budget of the resort city. However, today the company is in a difficult financial position due to fewer calls of cruise ships. 

    To ensure additional income, Commercial Seaport of Sochi is going to attract freight-and-passenger ferries from Turkey. The project provides for accepting 1-2 ro-ro ferries per week and handling up to 1,000 t of environmentally friendly cargo (agricultural products) that are supposed to be taken from the port by small vehicles exclusively at night hours (from midnight till 6 a.m.). This will not be a transit but a cargo for local consumption.

    Commercial Seaport of Sochi has accumulated long experience in handling freight-and-passenger ferries. Before reconstruction of the berths the port used to handle 1,500 t of agricultural products per day. The port of Sochi has the required facilities for accepting such ferryboats. According to the project, two berths of the new harbour are equipped with special ramp places. RF Border checkpoint has the facilities for deep inspection of vehicles and an area for vehicles waiting for night time to depart.  

    As of today, all fruit, vegetable and food products imported to the Russian Federation from Turkey by sea is delivered mainly to Novorossiysk, ports of the Taman peninsula and port Tuapse. This complicates and considerably increases the supply chain as it includes the long leg used by heavy trucks to deliver cargo from Novorossiysk to Sochi. The federal road Dzhubga-Sochi is overloaded, especially in holiday season.

    Sochi authorities have long been saying ‘no’ to the project referring to the risk of congestion in the city.

    New positive impulse was given to the project at the meeting held by RF Deputy Transport Minister Nikolai Asaul in late June in Sochi. This project was specified as a reasonable one without any impact on throughput capacity of Sochi roads network. The Department of Transport and Communications of Sochi Administration was recommended to develop a plan for operation of small vehicles delivered to Sochi by sea transport.  The document is to be submitted to the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation by July 17. 

    Besides, ANO United Transport Directorate has joined implementation of the project on launching freight-and-passenger service Sochi-Trabzon. The company boasts a vast experience in arranging ferry services at Krym-Kavkaz line. 

    Sophia Vinarova