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            january 29, 2020

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LKW Walter

TransLogistica KZ 2020

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Vladimir Stepanov, president of the Latvian-Finnish Maritime Agency
In the immediate past company mainly dealt with line shipping and container transportation.

Within one holding

In the immediate past company mainly dealt with line shipping and container transportation. After the privatization management board decided their branch companies, including Latvian-Finnish Maritime Agency, to make a holding providing for more competitive shipping services on their own vessels, as well as by other means of transport.

The choice is up to client

What the company offers today is «door-to-door» intermodal transportation operations by all kinds of transport, including warehouse and terminal services. Customs clearance services are particularly applied for the USA cargos. It is understandable, since line shipping mainly provides for the transportation, 99% of the cases regardless customs clearance. Although client looks forward to receive whole range of services supplied by one company. This is more and more common, since companies, not dealing with professional freight forwarding or logistics, are not able to keep up with shifting and changing dynamics of transport services' market, besides cargo owner does not really have to worry about it. This is a purely forwarder's responsibility to provide for a complete service package and various transportation routes. Client simply has to choose.

Europe priority

Railway and sea transportation earns the priority position within the European transport. Due to the certain flexibility regarding clients' and legislation demands, dynamic development of road and sea transport is taking place. At the same time road traffic development cannot last forever, and possible its termination is being considered. Existent barriers and difficulties like lack of permits and standstills on the borders will be supplemented by new tariffs on the roads of Germany. Other countries will follow this example. For instance, Poland is considering introduction of similar fees for truckers. Due to the economy development in Europe, commercial transport has mounted enormously and passed ahead of the infrastructure development – road building and maintenance, boarder crossing, damage caused to the environment, etc. the mentioned factors provoke tendency, when ineffective truck exploitation leads to the disability of leasing payments' commitments. Though European tendency, as well as that of Eastern Europe, slightly differs – it is more container feeder, ferry and ro-ro transport oriented. Latvia is hardly an exception, since container cargo volumes are constantly growing, introduction of new ferry lines and facilitation of already existent ones are facing an impetuous upturn.

That's the logistics
Development of sea container and ro-ro transportation is mainly due to the overall freight containerization and highway congestions. Even the general and bulk cargo transported by ships, now carried in containers and by trucks. This is the way market and logistics looks like, when providing a client for certain amount of goods. Hence transport is already a part of industrial process, when requested cargo of definite quantity, is delivered in time by the particular route to the customer. Major warehouses or distribution centers of the kind are located in the ports or port area. Consequently this is due to the fact that ports are well developed, regulated and predictable perfectly following freight forwarding requirements.

New ferry line to Germany

Regarding our company, 2/3 of the total transportation volume is handled by sea. We know the specification of ferry line operation, customers' demands and can predict major changes of the near future. Due to this on June 22nd ,2003 a new ferry line VentLines was introduced, connecting Ventspils (Latvia) and Travemunde (Germany). The ferry Kaptan Burhanettin Isim provides for regular departures twice a week, carries more than 100 trucks and trailers, 600 cars and 120 passengers. Ferry covers the route in 30 hours. Shipping line is owned by Latvijas Kugnieciba, and Lat-Finn Agency is operating the line. The company is both attracting and operating cargo in Latvia and Germany.

Mainly by the sea

Time to start operations of this shipping line was chosen on purpose. Land transportations, transit through Poland is getting more and more expensive and problematic due to the above mentioned reasons. Basically row of nuances and problems of road transport in the Baltic States caused introduction of the ferry line. Ferry line business development is mainly provided by West European ship owners – large companies, operating according to the strict rules of transportation, which is followed by the preference of foreign companies for the Baltic forwarders. If the services for the foreign company are not correspondingly provided with, it is followed by serious consequences. Our forwarders face absolutely different attitude. Even if the operator has approved the loading of the stock, it can be cancelled without any liability for breakage. Settled documentation does not assure the successful transportation and you have to wait for the next ferry and lose time. We do not face such problems, which is proved by our practice. During the first 2 months ferry was more than 60% loaded. And we started from the nothing. Presently ferry is used by Latvian, Estonian and Lithuania forwarders. Even Lithuanian forwarders prefer Ventspils for Klaipeda, this must have a reason. First of all, geographical location of city saves money and time. Secondly, NNVT is the newest and most up-to-date terminal in the Baltic. And finally, besides the wheel technique, it is possible to carry other cargo for further transportation by railway to Russia, CIS and Germany, since Travemunde is an important railway junction, operating block trains to all Germany, Italian and Switzerland directions. Beyond all this, we hope that forwarders are satisfied with our services and attitude.

Strictly following the plan

Ferry line Ventspils – Travemunde is only the first unit of our event chain. Ferry business is rather seasonal. Manufactories during the summer period hardly operate in full capacity or even close, consequently goods turnover falls. Despite the fact, already in summer period we had enough of load, but in the autumn – period of external economy revival – we expect increase of the cargo flow and plan integrate the second vessel. Today we work on capacity, documentation and freight turnover handling in the port. Other institutions participating are Ventspils port Authority, terminal, as well as border and customs authorities. In Venstipls port work and co-operation with other structures is well organized, that is way we are trying to pay their attention to the needs and interests of the road hauliers. In closing, I would like to add that besides trucks, we can handle any ro-ro technique, containers and other conventional cargo, as well as oversize & overweight cargo.

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