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Costel Stanca, General Manager of Port of Constanta – The Danube to be used to its true potential by joining forces and reopening containerized lines

Costel Stanca
Costel Stanca (Photo: Nacionalna kompanija za upravljanje morskim lukama Konstanca )
The total income achieved for 9 months 2020 at the Port of Constanta has registered higher values than the same period of the previous year (+ 7%), while the total expenses of the company during this period have had a lower increase (+ 5%), giving, implicitly, an increase of the profitability indicators of Maritime Ports Administration, such as: gross profit and labor productivity.

These results ensure an upward trend until the end of 2020 as compared to 2019, Costel Stanca, the general manager of the National Company Maritime Ports Administration S.A. Constanța, says in his interview for eKapija. He adds that a part of the profit obtained is redirected towards financing investments in Constanța port, in accordance with the investment programs promoted by Maritime Ports Administration.

What type of cargo is the most represented?

– Since the beginning of the year, cereal flows keep growing, the results of this year validating again the position of Constanța port at European level, with over 16.3 million tonnes until the end of September, as compared to 15.4 million tonnes for the same period last year. Cereals represent 36.3% of the total goods in the Romanian maritime ports.

An important share is also represented by the following types of goods: crude oil, oil products, natural and chemical fertilizers, miscellaneous and solid mineral fuels.

The total traffic of goods through the Romanian maritime ports has registered 44.8 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, of which the maritime traffic was 33.9 million tonnes and the river traffic was 10.9 million tonnes. Container traffic has registered 4,734,244 tonnes, respectively 479,754 TEU in the first nine months of 2020.

In the total turnover, what is the share of the companies from Serbia?

– Serbia exports grain, with transit through Constanta port, to Egypt, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Libya, Malta, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria.

Serbia also imports, with transit through Constanta port, solid mineral fuels, fertilizers, iron ores and scrap, non-ferrous ores and scrap, oil products, raw or processed minerals, equipment, metal products, machinery from countries such as: Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Turkmenistan, China and South Africa. Serbia`s grain yields, higher than last year, will also positively influence the traffic through Constanta port.

In 2020, until the end of September, the traffic of goods between Constanța port and Serbia was of 6.7 million tonnes, at a level as high as in 2019.

Last year, the total traffic between Serbia and Constanța port was a record one, of 8.9 million tonnes.

The positive evolution of the traffic of goods emphasizes the potential of the cooperation between the Serbian companies and Constanța port. In recent years, the increase in traffic is constant, with the share being held, first of all, by cereals, then by fertilizers, oil products and non-ferrous ores and scrap.

What was the biggest challenge for companies operating in the field of water transport in the previous period? How did you overcome it?

– Throughout the pandemic, even during the state of emergency, the Romanian maritime ports operated without interruption, without affecting the port activity, but in compliance with the rules to combat the spread of coronavirus.

We have adapted our activity and we have prioritized all the projects which refer to the digitalization of Constanța port, the investments in this field leading to the improvement of the services, the increase of the business dynamism, of the reliability, a better and more transparent planning.

Important steps are being taken to create an IT system dedicated to the management of activities and information flows in Constanța port, a flexible digital platform for the entire port community, functional in real time, efficient in all stages of port processes - Port Community System.

During the pandemic, Maritime Ports Administration has supported the port operators and offered facilities to those with whom it has concluded rental contracts. We have focused on maintaining connections with other ports, on regular lines. Currently, 16 regular container lines are operational, connecting with China, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Ukraine, Morocco, Malta, etc.

At the same time, the decrease in the total traffic of goods in the first 9 months of 2020 remains below the average value registered by most international ports. And we must emphasize that we compare the results of this year, obtained in the conditions of the pandemic, with those of 2019, a record year for the traffic of goods through the Romanian maritime ports.

Where do you see the possibility of improving water transport in Serbia?

– The navigability of the Danube is the most important aspect of the connection with Serbia. Romania and Serbia are partners on this route, the river enabling the exit of Serbia to the Black Sea, through Constanța port. I believe we must use the Danube to its true potential and join forces in this regard, to revitalize the transport on the river, by reopening containerized lines.

In the current economic context, we consider the Serbian companies as important partners in the future development of Constanţa port.

What are the expectations for next year?

– We are optimistic, we have important development projects. Projects of almost 100 million euros financed from European funds, investment projects in port infrastructure are being prepared.

Another major project, within the Operational Programme Transport, "Master plan for road and access infrastructure in Constanţa port" - will include works between 70 and 100 million euros.

Ivana Milovanovic

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