Successful Delivery of 16 000 MT of Salmon along Northern Sea Route excites Russians towards more ambitious plans

September 17, 2011 14:59

This year Russian Fishery Company and others managed to deliver as much as 16 thousand MT of fish from Kamchatka to St. Petersburg along Northern Sea Route.  Of course, it is not much, just three tramper vessels (Kommunary Nikolaeva, Kapitan Pryakha, Bereg Nadezhdy), but it was just the beginning, and experts think a successful one. 

Total delivery cost was 15% lower than traditional way (via Suez Channel, or via Vladivostok), and timing was much better also.  As soon as the first cargo was delivered to the destination port, Andrey Krainy, head of Federal Fishery Agency, promised that next year 100 000 MT of fish will be delivered along this route.

However critics have some doubts if this is possible.  First of all, this year economics of the project was not as good as had been planned.  The trampers didn't manage to find return cargo, and had to run back empty.  Another fact - it turned out (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!) that Atomflot icebreaker steering rates heavily depend on cargo nature.  Fish is ten times more expensive than timber - nobody can explain why, just so.  Steering of an empty vessel is even more expensive.

However, the experts are sure that with proper planning it's possible to find return freight (e.g. some fish to China) and bargain with Atomflot.  However, it's not clear where FFA plans to find trampers.  To deliver 100,000 MT by, say, 5 thousand-tonners, they would need 20 trips and a half months long each.  There are no available vessels at Russian Pacific zone.  And, by the way, there are pollock and squid fisheries simultaneously with salmon as well as many other kinds.  There are export shipments to China and Korea too.  Simple calculation shows that unfortunately existing tonnage is not enough to satisfy all the needs at the same time.

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