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2017 March 23

Review of Black Sea container market

In 2016, Black Sea container terminals of Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Bulgaria handled 2,460,028 TEUs, including empty containers and excluding transshipment. 

The review covers only loaded containers – 1,785,618 TEUs, up 9.63% against 2015.

Container throughput of Black Sea region in 2016 - 2015, TEU loaded 

The growth of container throughput was shown by all countries of the Black Sea region except for Georgia (-12.09%). The terminals of Ukraine, Romania, Russia and Bulgaria demonstrated a growth of 30.66%, 4.71%, 7.52% and 465% accodingly.

Handling of loaded containers per country, TEU 




Growth, %

























Imports account for 51.37% of containers handled in the region in 2016, exports – 48.63%. Loaded/empty containers ratio in the region is 72.59% / 27.41%.

Romania showed a slight decline in exports of loaded containers – 0.1%, Bulgaria – a growth of 0.3%. Exports from Georgia fell by 14.93%. As for the imports to the region, it grew by 6.95%, mostly due to the growth of Ukraine’s imports – by 31.93%. Imports also grew in other countries except for Russia and Georgia which showed a decrease of 1.57% and 11.56% accordingly.

Handling of loaded containers in the reported period per country is as follows: Ukraine – 29.87%, Romania – 24.99%, Russia – 24.92%, Georgia – 10.93%, Bulgaria – 9.29%.

As for the total container throughput in 2016, the list of top five container terminals changed with DPW (Constanta) having retained its leading position, HPC Ukraine (Odessa) rising from the 3rd to the 2nd position, APMT Poti (Georgia) moving from the 2nd to the 3rd position, Novoroslesexport (Russia) going down from the 4th to the 5th position and NUTEP (Russia) climbing from its 5th position to the 4th position. Three of the top five terminals of the region demonstrated the growth of container throughput. Container throughput of APMT Poti (Georgia) and Novoroslesexport (Russia) fell by 15.82% and 0.83% accordingly.

As for operators of Black Sea lines, the list of leaders has not changed. It includes Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, ARKAS and ZIM.  ARKAS, having shown a considerable growth, is almost at the level of CMA CGM when it comes to the share of loaded containers in the Black Sea region.

Shares of Black Sea countries in total handling of loaded containers

The service of G6 (Hapag Lloyd, OOCL, MOL, NYK, HMM, APL) was reorganized from the middle of 2014. OOCL moved to ZIM and G6 alliance became G5. In 2015, G5 members controlled 5.81% of the market, in 2016 – their share declined to 5.05%. The share of OOCL grew from 1.92% in 2015 to 1.95% in 2016.

The first quarter of 2015 saw the beginning of joint activities of 2М (Maersk and MSC) and Ocean Three (CMA CGM, CSCL, UASC) alliances. Total share of MAERSK and MSC in the market decreased by 2.04 p.p. from 46.69% in 2015 to 46.65% in 2016. The share of Ocean Three increased by 0.72 p.p. from 15.22% in 2015 to 15.94% in 2016.

Shares of Black Sea terminals in 2016

It also should be noted that total share of CSCL and COSCO grew by 1.73 p.p. from 5.83% in 2015 to 7.56% in 2016.

Shares of Black Sea lines in 2016

Review contributed to IAA PortNews by