Snow means ice, and ice means blocked ships. The Russian winter has arrived and with it snow storms leading to port congestions and delays in delivering and picking up containers.
Right now Russian ports are fine due to their handling capacity, but you can expect congestion in the likes of St. Petersburg's seaports to build as the winter sets in and we brace for more snow. Winter is no surprise event and this season Maersk Line is again prepared to ensure customers more reliable transportation during these tough months.
Business as usual For Maersk Line, continuing to deliver a reliable transport chain for customers during winter is business as usual, says Tom Hyldelund, Maersk Line’s Russia Managing Director.
“During the winter of 2010/11, none of our automotive clients had to stop production due to delays in cargo on account of the carrier. A lot of clients shipping with Maersk Line kept their factories running, simply because they could be assured of deliveries.”
This is especially good news for customers shipping time-sensitive cargo like automotive, fruits and electronics.
How Maersk Line fares better Maersk Line’s increased flexibility during the winter is due to the multiple terminal arrangements with the ports as well as preferential berthing and yard capacity (including reefer plugs).
Further supported by preferential Port Authority support and availability of ice-breakers during these tough months, vessels are ensured quicker access to berthing windows and are thus better positioned to ensure customer’s cargo is delivered as quickly and trouble free as possible.
During the winter of 2010/11, the ice situation in the Baltic Sea was the worst in 20 years. Conditions at the port had reached critical status by March 2011, with more than 180 vessels stuck in the ice waiting for ice-breaker assistance. Even with all this happening, Maersk Line was able to ensure minimal impact for the client’s transportation plans.
The extent of weather conditions like this mean that there will be delays but in spite of this, even when the seas are frozen over and the ships covered in snow, Maersk Line customers can rest assured they have chosen the most reliable carrier.
Maersk Line Russia has the expertise, the experience and the key relationships required to manage these tough times, says Tom. “Our aim is to protect the supply chain of our clients and ensure as little negative impact as possible because of the adverse weather conditions. Over the last three winters we have been more reliable in getting cargo delivered to Saint Petersburg than some of our competitors.”
With Maersk Line having 6 calls per week to Saint Petersburg, the main gateway and largest port in Russia, customers are ensured a reliable option during the tough winter months.