Maersk Line on Empties Detention Situation in Russia
SeaNews has asked Tom Hyldelund, CEO Maersk Russia, Finland and Baltic Countries, to evaluate the critical situation with empties deficit in the Russian trade.
How do you evaluate the current equipment situation on the Russian market?
The Russian market is in equipment deficit. Due to the ruble devaluation the exports have increased around 25%, while the imports have decreased by about 30%.
This means that overall the whole Baltic area is in deficit and our cost to serve the Baltic area has increased.
Where we before could position empty containers from St. Petersburg to Finland to cover the Finnish exports, we now need to position from other places in Europe, which increases our costs quite dramatically.
What are the causes of this situation and what is your forecast of its future development?
We expect the deficit of containers to continue for the foreseeable future. Even more importantly, we expect the equipment situation to be tight in Europe, which will make it harder to position the empty containers into the Baltic area. Regarding the causes please see above.
What will be the consequences for market participants?
Firstly we need to ask our export clients to return the containers quicker. We have seen that containers are standing too long empty in depots and we need to work with our clients to be quicker in filling the containers with cargo and returning them to the port for shipping. To stimulate this, we need to decrease the free time we are giving our clients.
Since our costs for exports are increasing, we will need to pass on this costs to the market.
We understand from our customers, that the additional costs for the shipping is being compensated by the higher profit on the cargo, due to the lower ruble exchange rate and the clients understand why we need to decrease the free time, since also the clients are interested in a quicker container turn time, to be sure they have enough containers to serve the needs of their clients.