Ukraine is a hub

A number of international transport corridors pass through the territory of Ukraine: pan-European transport corridors No. 3, 5, 7, 9, corridors of the Organization for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) No. 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA). And although the transport industry of Ukraine provides work for a significant part of the employed population, this is only 6.6% of GDP. For a country like Ukraine, this is not enough. The real potential is much higher. The optimal level is 15–20% of the gross product, but a further increase in these indicators is possible only if global transit transport hubs are created in Ukraine.

National transport strategy 2030

The “National Transport Strategy 2030” provides for priority infrastructure projects for each region. Some of them are already being implemented – the construction of a new runway at the Odessa airport, the overhaul of the Kiev-Mariupol road. The construction of the Kremenchug bridge, the GO highway transport corridor, the ring roads of Lviv, Ternopil, Zhytomyr and Kyiv are underway. Work is underway to dredging the ports of Yuzhny and Chernomorsk. The opening of a ferry across the Danube Orlovka-Isakcha is being prepared. The construction of the Zaporozhye and Podolsko-Voskresensky bridges is nearing completion. Ryanair and Wizzair are entering the low-cost market. The development of checkpoints on the border with Poland and Hungary continues.

The transport strategy provides for the creation of a network of regular container/multimodal freight train routes synchronized with EU train routes. It is planned to increase the efficiency of using the airspace of Ukraine, create passenger and cargo infrastructure complexes, etc. It is assumed that investments in the transport industry will ensure the renewal of at least 90% of fixed assets by 2030, and the growth of private investment in the renewal of the rolling stock is planned to be 10, 1 billion hryvnia per year.

The National Transport Strategy 2030 is aligned with the EU investment plan to include our transport network in TEN-T and provide funds in the amount of 50 billion euros (EIB, World Bank and EBRD). That is, these are specific projects on sources of financing for the development of Ukraine’s infrastructure.

Convenient logistics routes and open markets for the sale of goods are needed. A similar model is in demand in Germany. The world’s largest economy, the Chinese, is even more interested in convenient logistics. At the junction of these two worlds, the emergence of systemic nodal points is simply programmed, where export-oriented flows from Germany and other EU countries to the east and from China to the west will converge. Plus the movement of raw materials and semi-finished products. Given the increasing volumes of such deliveries, simple transport corridors no longer satisfy anyone. We need an extensive infrastructure, thanks to which the transit margin of the transit country increases from 1-2% to 10% and more.

At present, the Ministry of Infrastructure has submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine a draft order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On approval of the action plan for 2019–2021 for the implementation of the NTS 2030”. The introduction of the European integration course and the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union became a prerequisite for the development of the National Transport Strategy of Ukraine for the period up to 2030. to develop a new Transport Strategy for the long term.

And now let’s see how the mentioned competitive advantages are used in our country. According to this strategy, the main drawback of our transport system is its low technological equipment and the almost complete absence of a multimodal transportation infrastructure. That is why our high quantitative indicators lose to the qualitative parameters of direct competitors. We cannot meet the growing needs of our exporters for fast and cheap access to foreign markets.

Formation of international transport corridors

The formation of transit corridors in the paradigm of the global world is a difficult solution to the transport problem. Here we need new meanings, new projects that are interesting for investors and well-thought-out concepts protected from external and internal risks. It is equally important to revive navigation along the Dnieper , especially since in the context of this strategy it is quite possible to create an industrial and logistics cluster Belarus-Black Sea, which would unite not only the Dnieper transport corridor and our ports in the Black Sea, but also the possibilities of shipbuilding in the river-sea class of ships. Now Belarus transports 90% of its cargo through the port of Klaipeda, 5% through Riga and 5% through Odessa. The construction of a new river port and a port terminal in Nizhniye Zhary may expand the southern direction. Even one Belaruskali project (Petrikovskoye field) can load the Dnieper route with access through our Black Sea ports to the Sea of ​​Azov and further to the Caspian region, or through the Bosporus to the Mediterranean markets. Turkey is showing particular interest in this logistics format.

According to the estimates of the project initiators, the use of the waterway leads to savings of $1.5 per ton-kilometer. The range of commodity deliveries along this route is not limited only to potash salt and includes oil products, granite, meat and dairy products, engineering goods. It is necessary to give a new impetus to the combined transport project “Viking train”, which connected the Baltic (Klaipeda) with the Black Sea region (Odessa, Chernomorsk). This direction can be significantly expanded by opening a new transport corridor to the port of Riga, one of the key transport hubs in the Baltic.

With regard to road transport corridors, the maintenance of main roads and the development of related infrastructure must be transferred to the management of an international logistics company – a consortium of private investors and states participating in transit projects. Its “road fund” should be formed both from regular transit fees and from contributions from participating countries.

In order to determine the strategy for the passage of new international transport corridors through the territory of Ukraine, a group of American and Austrian specialists conducted analytical studies of the existing port potential of Ukraine and the prospects for creating a port that would be a transport hub for river, sea, rail and air transportation at the same time. For the most profitable use of the transit opportunities of Ukraine, the possibility of entering the future port infrastructure into the global project of the trans-European transport network and the creation of the Black Sea-Gdansk waterway was studied. Based on the results of the study, a site was identified that has high prospects for the construction of a modern offshore intermodal industrial cluster in the waters of the Berezan estuary in the Ochakovsky district of the Nikolaev region.

At the Trans Expo exhibition, a group of specialists will present the Intermodal project of a world-class deep-water seaport, and these are:

  • direct entry from the sea and frontal mooring
  • 25 km of the berthing line
  • 120 million tons of cargo turnover per year
  • industrial platform along the entire port and much more .

In the maritime intermodal cluster “Berezan” it is planned to connect sea routes with the waterways of the Dnieper and Southern Bug rivers, auto and air routes. This will allow the complex to become a cross-logistic hub of a new international transport route on the territory of Ukraine.

The construction of the Berezan deep-sea intermodal cluster with industrial sites in the Berezansky estuary will create a hub in the Black Sea that can dock a new international logistics framework “Baltic-Adriatic-Black Sea”, unite the ports of the Adriatic, the Black and Baltic Seas into a single transport and logistics corridor .

The transport hub, which combines sea, river, railway, road and air transportation, will become the largest deep-water port on the Black Sea and will make it possible to extend the Baltic-Black Sea transport corridor to the Adriatic Sea. And with the possibility of granting the Berezan marine cluster the status of a “special industrial zone” and a “free trade zone” with tax preferences, this will create unprecedented conditions for attracting transit cargo flow through Ukraine.

This project is characterized by high capital intensity, long construction and reconstruction periods, which require special care in choosing development measures and creating significant power reserves. Due to the high capital intensity of transport facilities, the directions for the development of modes of transport and the transport system as a whole should be taken into account. Interest in this project is shown by investors from the Middle East, in particular from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The construction of the facility should take 5 years.

Objectives of the transport strategy

In order to monitor the implementation of the action plan, after its approval by the Government, the Ministry of Infrastructure will create a monitoring committee, which will include representatives of interested bodies. The implementation of such a large-scale project will increase revenues to the budget of Ukraine and revive entire segments of the transport infrastructure. It will also reduce the environmental burden on Odessa and Nikolaev and thousands of new jobs for executive power, public organizations, business representatives, and the media. The Monitoring Committee will evaluate the implementation of the Strategy and the action plan for its implementation on an ongoing basis. Based on the results of the assessment, if necessary, the action plan will be updated annually. This project is of great importance for the most profitable use of Ukraine’s transit opportunities. With the implementation of this and other projects, Ukraine may well achieve by 2030 the goals set in the Transport Strategy:

  • Increase in the volume of transported cargo by 2030 to 1900–2000 million tons per year, taking into account air cargo transportation to Ukrainian airports;
  • Accession of Ukraine to the maritime “Blue Belt” of the EU;
  • Inclusion of Ukrainian seaports in the top 100 largest in the world in terms of container handling;
  • Growth of transportation volumes using inland waterways by five times;
  • Creation of transport corridors: EU countries—China, EU countries—Iran, India, EU countries—Turkey and others;
  • Achieving the share of cargo transportation in intermodal transport units of the total volume of at least 10% in 2025 and at least 20% in 2030.

With the implementation of such a project, the transport industry of the country by 2030 is quite capable of reaching the level of increasing the production of the gross product up to $25-30 billion per year. This can be a decisive factor for successful innovative and structural changes in the national economy and its integration into the global system, including transnational supply chains.

Source: Shipping Magazine

By editor