Ukraine asks Romania to help speed up grain exports through Black Sea
Photo: Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company

Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company, a state-owned shipping company, has asked the Romanian port of Constanta for permission to set up a transshipment facility for Ukrainian grain, its CEO Dmytro Moskalenko said on Monday.

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The move will increase Ukrainian exports by 500,000 tonnes per month as Kyiv struggles to find ways of moving its grain out after Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal.

The port of Constanta treats river barges as a secondary addition to the main flow. Therefore, while seagoing vessels are immediately available for loading, barges are forced to wait for weeks to unload.

Therefore, Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company started operating only through direct transshipment. The fleet turnover between the Danube ports and Constanta averages 22 days, but an additional roadside berth could speed up the process.

"Our partners have created a project to organise three more anchorages, one of which should be assigned to Ukraine. There is a pool of interested investors and carriers," Mr Moskalenko posted on Facebook.

"The project does not threaten the terminal owners, as it is an additional export flow from Ukraine, which today simply does not enter Constanta. Subject to the consent of the Romanian side, Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company is ready to initiate the creation of a Ukrainian port operator in Constanta."

The company’s fleet can handle up to 300,000 tonnes of grain per month on board, and could reach 500,000 tonnes if other carriers are involved.

"Each anchorage can provide 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of transshipment per day. This is a real alternative to the ports of Odesa," the CEO of Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company said.