Between June 9 and 12, 2012 the ship ‘Ocean King D’ was moored at Euro-Silo in the Sifferdok. The vessel came from the Ukrainian port of Mykolaiv and carried a little over 32,000 tonnes of maize on board, of which 23,000 tonnes were destined for the port of Ghent. Soon, there will be another ship bringing maize from the port of Mykolaiv: the ‘Radonezh’. This illustrates the good trade relations between the ports of Ghent and Mykolaiv and also forms part of the Port Company’s 2010-2020 Strategic plan.
The ‘Ocean King D’ sails under the flag of the Marshall Islands and has 21 crew members on board. The freighter is 190 metres long and has a beam of 31 metres.
Many years of cooperation
The port of Ghent has been doing business with the Ukraine for years. In order to increase trade even more, Ghent Port Company is working closely together with the port of Mykolaiv. In 2010 the Port Company concluded a cooperation agreement with this port during the princely mission to the Ukraine. Following this, a Ghent port delegation paid a visit to Mykolaiv in May 2011 and half a year later, this was followed by a three days’ visit by Mykolaiv to Ghent. There is also a close cooperation with other Ukrainian ports.
Within this framework, the Port Company recently participated in the Inter-Transport fair in Odessa, the Ukraine. Moreover, on September 26 and 27, 2012 Ghent Port Company organizes a seminar concerning the cooperation between Ghent and the Ukraine together with Flanders Investment & Trade, Voka and other parties.
Today, there are nine Ukrainian ports from where cargo is exported to Ghent. With a total tonnage of 1 million tonnes in 2011 the Ukraine is eleventh on the list of the most important trade partners of Ghent port. Of this total, the port of Mykolaiv takes up 200,000 tonnes. In 2011, trade between Ghent port and the Ukraine strongly increased: in comparison with 2010 there is a 21% growth. It concerns the transhipment of four cargo categories: mineral fuels, foodstuffs, fertilizers and agricultural products, such as maize. In total, Ghent port disposes of 1.5 million tonnes of storage capacity for agribulk. This represents 63% of total cargo traffic.
The importance of the Ukraine
This cooperation between the ports of Ghent and Mykolaiv links up with Ghent Port Company’s strategic plan. Considering the strong growth in cargo traffic in the Black Sea region and the complementary nature of the cargo categories with Ghent, port of Ghent wants to further focus on these growth markets. Moreover, from a strategic point of view, the Ukraine is situated on the crossing of transport routes in the direction of Asia and Europe.