Over the past years cargo turnover at Georgian seaports has considerably shrunk, while cargo turnover is growing at other seaports of the Black Sea basin.
In 2017 Georgian seaports handled 16.2 million tons of cargo, down 24% as compared to 2014 (21.3 million tons). Meanwhile, cargo turnover rose by 13% at Russian seaports, by 7% in Romania, 6-6% in Turkey and Bulgaria.
Downturn was registered only in Ukraine, where turnover declined by 7% in 2016 compared to 2014. Paata Tsagareishvili, director of Transport Corridor Research Center says that the existing political tensions in Ukraine have preconditioned the mentioned contraction.
Low competitive capacity of Georgian corridor is and low coordination level with the neighboring countries in the tariff field are key reasons for cargo turnover reduction in Georgia. Moreover, infrastructural problems exist along the whole corridor and this factor considerably restricts the corridor’s capacity, he noted.
“Cargo turnover has declined because of high tariffs and delayed shipping. As a result, competitor corridors make benefits of this factor and redirect cargoes to their direction”, Paata Tsagareishvili noted.
Tariffs were lowered on a number of cargoes in 2017. As a result, Georgian seaports will be able to attract 2-3 million tons of cargo in addition in 2018, experts say.