Ports sector in Russia

New terminals and ports will be built across the whole Russia to increase ports’ capacity twofold to reach 1.4bn tonnes by 2030 – the objective laid in the “Strategy of sea ports infrastructure development” adopted by the Government.

Market overview

Sea ports are key elements of the Russian transport system: over 60% of foreign trade freight traffic of the country accounts for them.

There are 63 sea ports operating nowadays in Russia. Cargo turnover of the Russian sea ports accounted for 565.5mn tonnes in 2012 (increase by 6% compared to 2011), ports` capacity has increased to reach 790mn tonnes.

In 2013 it is expected that ports` capacity will increase by 54mn tonnes. By 2016-2018 handling volumes to achieve 740mn tonnes a year.

Most of the Russian ports current facilities were built in 60-70s of the past century. Their state does not meet modern requirements for water depth and in-water areas, so modernisation of facilities and equipment is required.

Public-private partnership scheme starts being a mechanism for ports construction.

The Government has adopted several Strategies of the Ports sector development:

Key opportunities

The growing need for improved infrastructure supported by the Russian Government investment initiatives opens wide opportunities for companies providing equipment, technologies, services and other products for the transport infrastructure industry.

The key opportunities are:

  • Technical upgrade of existing port facilities: modernisation of a wide range of equipment used in ports and loading/unloading complexes including cranes, rubber tire gantry, rail mounted gantry, loaders, trailers, container equipment, platforms, wagon dumpers, screening-and-crushing machines, bell-type conveyors, tractors, shovel crawlers, dust-exhausters, vessels, harbour-tugs, pusher tugs, escort tugs, pilot boats, navigation and control equipment, etc.;

  • Design and development of new marine terminals, rail container yards and other logistics facilities and infrastructure zones;

  • Port management;

  • Development of the juridical basis and mechanisms for the private-public partnership projects in the port sector.

The major projects take place in the following ports:

Arctic basin


One of the main projects in the Arctic is the construction of the port complex in the Gulf of the Ob River for LNG transfers with 30.7mn tonnes a year capacity by 2020. The investments are estimated at £19.1bn. The project will be financed from the federal budget and the budgets of Novatek and Gazprom. The port construction to be finalised by 2018.


Port authorities plan to increase transhipment capacity on the east and west coast of Kola bay by modernising port facilities and construction of roads, railways, terminals and other infrastructure.

Infrastructure is to be created in Dixon, Tiksi, Pevek, Provideniye ports along the Northern Sea Route.

Baltic basin

Perspective cargo turnover of Ust-Luga port is 180mn tonnes a year by 2020 compared to 47mn tonnes in 2012. Terminals for container shipment, oil and chemicals, coal, wood, sulphur, and rail and automotive ferryboats are going to be built. The major investor is the Government.

In the Greater Port of Saint-Petersburg (cargo turnover of 58mn tonnes in 2012) new roll-on/roll-off and container terminals are to be built and water territory and berths to be reconstructed.

New port in the Baltic basin – Bronka – to be put into operation by 2016. Investment in the port construction is based on a private-public partnership and equals to £1.2bn. It is planned to construct five berths for container ferries and four for roll-up/roll-off vessels. Nowadays two berths are being constructed.

In the port of Kaliningrad deep sea hub for transhipment of cargo from big container ships is to be created.

Azov-Black basin

The biggest port in Russia is Novorossiysk port where container terminals are to be expanded and new car and oil terminals to be built. Investments in the oil terminal equal to £600mn.

Sochi seaport to serve cruise ships and ferries is going to be renovated by the time the Winter Olympic games in Sochi in 2014 start.

In Taman port more than ten terminals with cargo turnover of up to 90mn tonnes a year are to be constructed. These terminals will service the ships with a draft of 14 meters (46 feet) and a displacement of 100,000 tonnes. The total volume of investments is estimated at the level of £4bn, two thirds of which will be private investments. The deadline for setting the port into operation is 2015-2017.

Multimodal facility that will link different kinds of transport will be built in Rostov-na-Dony sea port.

Kaspian basin

Olya sea port authorities are going to increase capacity to 8mn tonnes from 1mn tonnes and to make Olya port a hub in the region.

Far East basin

Vostochny-Nakhodka transport hub is to be developed: new container terminals with a capacity of up to 10mn TEU a year and new logistics container terminal will be constructed.

Latest export opportunities in the Ports sector

Latest export opportunities – Russia

Getting into the market

Some of the activities in new ports construction and existing facilities upgrade are an exclusive prerogative of the Russian government.

For the Russian market it is essential that an exporter has a right local partner which would act as a distributor, as such company will have established customs and logistics routes and will be able to guide on necessary certification.

Tenders are an important mechanism of getting into the market. This can be done directly, but will require significant investment in registering an office in Russia and translation of all tender-related paperwork into Russian. A better option might be tendering through a third party – a local partner with good experience in public procurement procedures.

Russian state standards system (GOST) differs from that of the EU, therefore all imported products should be additionally certified to comply with the GOST requirements. UKTI can advise on professional certification agencies.

More about doing business in Russia


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits through our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events in the Ports sector

Major Events



24-27 September 2013


Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Ports & Logistics
Countries: Russia
Export Action Plan