Russian Transport Lines (RTL) has received its first shipment of Ford vehicles from Lübeck in northern Germany as part of an expansion of activities at the Big Port of St Petersburg.
The vehicles, which were delivered by Finnlines, were the first to be delivered along a new route for vehicle transport between the two ports, which is expected to see 2,500 vehicles delivered by the end of this year.
Ford has an ongoing contract with RTL for vehicle movements to Russia and, thanks to a new agreement between RTL, Finnlines and First Stevedoring Company, the new delivery route to berth N37 at St Petersburg’s Big Port was able to be made.
RTL is providing handling, customs clearance and all operations in the terminal of First Stevedoring Company,” confirmed RTL spokesperson Elena Zhadanova.
Finnlines recently announced several enhancements to its TransRussiaExpress service designed to increase capacity on the northern route and boost cargo movements between St Petersburg and ports in the Baltic.
In the coming months, the ro-ro operator will replace the MS Translubeca, currently operating in the service connecting Lübeck, Sassnitz and St Petersburg, with the former MS Finnhansa, newly repurchased from Finnlines’ parent company Grimaldi and renamed MS Transrussia.
MS Transrussia is a sister ship of the MS Transeuropa, which already operates TransRussiaExpress, shuttling directly between Lübeck in northern Germany and St Petersburg.
RTL and Finnlines are also negotiating with another OEM on a new facility but details are yet to be announced.
RTL established the first sea terminal for vehicle handling in St Petersburg in 2006 and, as well as for Ford, also handles vehicles for Nissan, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Renault, Honda and Toyota.