Multimodal Transportation. Current State, Changes in Supply Geography, New Routes

11.11.2022

In 2022, the domestic logistics industry has again experienced drastic changes. This time much more serious than during the pandemic. The start of the changes —— 24 February — is not only the beginning of the military conflict, but also of an economic one. The main challenge for the economy in 2022 was the reduction in foreign trade operations with the West, which led to a complete reformatting of relations, the search for new trade and economic partnerships and the restructuring of supply chains

A number of recent events have had a strong impact on logistics in Russia. A mass exodus of many foreign companies of pro-Western affiliation, including shipping lines, took place, which fundamentally changed the previous patterns of work and market participants. The sanctions war intensified, although it still did not reach the expected level. Some Russian banks have been directly subjected to foreign sanctions, while others have been cut off from the SWIFT system. As a result, the market «stalled» for two or three months (late February —— early May), due to the unstable exchange rates of major currencies, the impossibility of making payments, and the threat of martial law.

The financial and economic sector saw a reduction in foreign trade with the West, which led to a change in trade chains. Representatives of small and medium-sized businesses have significantly increased the share of settlements in alternative currencies: Chinese yuan, Indian rupee, Turkish lira, UAE dirham, Kazakh tenge, etc. There was even news about plans to create a separate currency of the EAEU. Along with the decline in the share of Euro-Atlantic countries in foreign trade, the share of other regions is growing: South, East and Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

In a series of logistical changes, the most sensitive blow to the cargo turnover of Russian ports was the refusal of major sea carriers to work with Russia. For this reason, there was a redistribution of cargo traffic: in the first half of the year the container turnover of ports of the Baltic basin decreased by 39% compared with 2021, there was a reorientation to the ports of the Far East and Novorossiysk. Freight transportation from Europe has become more difficult. However, new private shipping companies serving ports in China and the Far East, India, Vietnam, Holland, UAE and other countries have emerged and continue to emerge. Previously unpopular transport corridors, such as the North-South International Transport Corridor, have gained new momentum. The Turkish direction received significant growth due to the regime of re-export (supplies through third countries). Although Turkey is experiencing one of the worst economic crises in its history, with inflation at 80%, merchandise exports jumped by 46% in June. The Russian parallel import, which received legal status in March 2022 and reached a volume of 6.5 billion dollars, also has contributed here. This program has been extended through 2023.

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Source: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)