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Klaipeda feels no impact from Belarus' wish to shift freight from Lithuania to Latvia

  • 2018-09-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's port of Klaipeda has seen no specific action from Belarus after the neighboring country announced its plans to direct its freight from Klaipeda to Riga, Lithuania's Verslo Zinios business daily writes.

"We have not seen real steps to direct freight from Klaipeda," Vaidotas Sileika, director of Klaipeda Container Terminal, told the daily. He estimates that Belarusian state enterprises exporting via Klaipeda might be mostly affected by such changes, and private businesses looking for the largest economic benefit would be less affected.

"Speaking about such cargo, like fertilizers or oil products, we cannot discount the possibility that decisions might be made and state companies might be ordered to change the handling and export ports. We cannot discount that," Sileika said.

Arturas Drungilas, head of marketing and corporate affairs at Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, says seaport companies continue cooperation with Belarusian partners, and Latvia's activity in the competition fight for Belarusian freight is not surprising as the tendency has been observed for a long time already.

In his words, Belarusian cargo makes around a third of all transit freight in Klaipeda, and figures from the Lithuanian statistical office, Statistics Lithuania, show that as much as 62.8 percent of cargo to enter and leave Lithuania by rail in the second quarter came from Belarus.

According to Sileika, Belarusian cargo makes around a quarter of all incoming cargo at the container terminal and their volumes a tendency to grow.