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Freight turnover of Transiidikeskus terminals climbs 2 pct in 2 months

Terminals of the Estonian freight transit operator Transiidikeskus AS handled 406,035 tons of goods in the first two months of 2016, 2% more than during the same period a year ago, informs LETA/BNS.

The increase in tonnage can be attributed to the transit of heavier cargoes, the company said.

The Muuga container terminal of Transiidikeskus handled 30,309 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers in the two months, 11.2% less than in 2015. The tonnage of goods transported in containers dropped 3.7%, Transiidikeskus AS said.

The general goods terminal of Transiidikeskus AS handled 75,630 tons of break bulk and bulk cargoes in the two months, 38% more than in January-February 2015.

The company said that its container turnover dropped by one-fifth in 2015 and the decline has continued this year.

"For us the situation is becoming critical. Although the flow of goods passing through our terminals has been declining at a slower rate than the whole transit flow of Port of Tallinn, this isn't much consolation. The mutual effect of Russian and Western sanctions has led to a collapse of the purchasing power of end consumers and businesses in Russia. Unless we do something on the level of the state, all of Estonian transit is faced with a severalfold fall," Transiidikeskus CEO Erik Laidvee said.

He said Transiidikeskus was on the lookout for possibilities to cut costs.

"We badly need it that Port of Tallinn abstained from levying fines on operators for the collapse of transit resulting from the geopolitical crisis. Today we have minimum amounts set out in the agreements, which if not met enable Port of Tallinn to start levying fines, and that will aggravate the situation further still," Laidvee said.

"The whole sector is falling by tens of%, yet the previous management of the port did not agree to meet their cooperation partners halfway. We are turning to the new management with a request to put this subject on the table – with costs like this, to which the region's highest cargo and navigation charges are added, Estonia is no longer able to compete with its neighbors – when it comes to costs we are the most expensive transit corridor on the Baltic Sea, which is only partially made up for by the high quality of our service providers," Laidvee said.

"It's not a surprise for Estonian stevedores that the Estonian Seamen's Independent Union financed by its Nordic partners has made a lot of effort to push the costs of Estonian businesses higher despite the deep crisis and to undermine our competitiveness. At the same time, we are pleased to be able to say that as a result of active efforts by the trustee elected by our employees on the basis of the Employees' Trustee Act we have received real feedback from our workers about the work environment and organization of work and have bilaterally made adjustments to the terms and conditions of the collective agreement to improve the work environment and conditions. You mustn't let a crisis go to waste," Laidvee said.

Transiidikeskus AS is an Estonian specialized operator of container and general goods terminals at the port of Muuga just outside Tallinn.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=117835)

09.03.2016

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