MOSCOW : The Port under construction in Anaklia, Georgia, could save shippers moving goods between the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent (ISC) and parts of Europe around $1,200 per container, or 15 to 20 percent of their costs, and shave three to five days off transit times.
It currently costs roughly $6,300 to $6,500 to move shipments from the Middle East and ISC to Europe through the Russian port of Novorossiysk and the Turkish ports of Trabzon and Giresum, while transit times range from 30 to 35 days. Using Anaklia would take 27 to 30 days, according to Russian and Georgian transportation companies and shippers. In what has been a good year for global trade growth, the Europe-South Asia trade has grown fastest.
The majority of cargo from the ISC bound for Europe passes through the Persian Gulf, up the Mediterranean and through the Bosphorus Strait to the Black Sea to Novorossiysk, where there are concerns over terminal-handling charges, or Trabzon and Giresum, which are heavily utilized and operating beyond capacity, resulting in delays and higher costs for shippers.
Shippers should be able to take advantage of lower rates at Anaklia because its depth of 20.5 meters (67.3 feet) would make it the deepest port on the Black Sea, enabling larger Panamax and post-Panamax ships with lower operating costs to call there. The Georgian ports of Batumi and Poti have depths of 14 and 8.5 meters, respectively, while Novorossiysk has a depth of 15 meters.
The Port at Anaklia would benefit shippers because port infrastructure on the Black Sea is dated and unable to cope with the higher volumes now passing through the region, said Kakhaber Gerklidze, head of Mengreli, a Georgian importer and distributor of Indian-made household goods and clothing.
The Anaklia port will make life easier for shippers by providing an alternative to Novorossiysk, which is a large oil port and does not place a priority on the transshipment of container cargo, said Kalo Dyvedjadje, head of Orton, an Indian-Russian distributor of Indian-made clothing.
The new competition that Anaklia will bring to the Black Sea port market could also lead to lower terminal handling charges, said Irvez Djafarov, Deputy Director of Iransky Kovry, an Iranian-Russian producer of carpets.
The Anaklia Development Consortium, a joint venture of the Georgian company TBC Holding and the US developer Conti International, is behind the Anaklia project, which calls for building 32 berths and a final capacity of 1 million TEU at a cost of $2.5 billion. Work on phase one is scheduled for a 2020 completion and capacity of 500,000 TEU. The company in July selected US terminal operator SSA Marine to run the port.