FESCO Kapitan Shchetinina in Vladivostok Photo FESCO
Kapitan Shchetinina. Photo: FESCO

In the wake of concerns from the west that Turkey and the UAE are the chief culprits helping Russia beat sanctions, China’s Goto Shipping has sold two container vessels to FESCO.

The Russian vessel operator took delivery of the maxi-Bangkokmax Moskva this week, reports Alphaliner, which will join sister ship, the 2,471 teu Kapitan Shchetinina, on a service linking St Petersburg to the Chinese ports of Rizhao, Lianyungang, Ningbo, Shanghai and Yantian.

The service, operated with only these two vessels, offers monthly sailings and, under ‘normal’ circumstances such a small-scale long-haul operation would hardly be viable, said Alphaliner.

“But sanctions and embargoes against Russia have changed the fundamentals, forcing importers to opt for new solutions,” added the analyst.

Concern over sanctions-busting were first raised in the press a month ago, with the UK Financial Times reporting that Turkey, the UAE and central Asia republics were said to be the chief culprits.

Last week, The Loadstar reported that a Turkish forwarder considered the situation in Russia a “good business opportunity”, and  Southwind Airlines starting up last year was to facilitate airborne trade between the two countries.

Links to and from Russia are being boosted by an increase in trade through the International North South Trade Corridor that links St Petersburg, via Central Asia, with Bandar Abbas in Iran and, by ship, Mumbai in India.

The two new FESCO vessels will provide another link, increasing the volume of cargo further. They were developed by the Chinese CIMC Design and Research Institute and are the largest Bangkokmax vessels, part of a small global fleet of only 15 ships of the type.

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