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Ukraine Reports More Than 50 Transits on Black Sea Corridor

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Ukraine Reports More Than 50 Transits on Black Sea Corridor

  • 17th July 2023

The number of ships traveling along Ukraine’s Black Sea corridor continues to grow with sources calculating that more than 50 transits have now taken place along the route. While they are being discreet about the identities of the ships and the timing of the inbound voyages due to the continuing threat from the Russian naval forces, Ukraine’s three main seaports are all accepting ships.

Three more bulkers and general cargo ships departed from the Odesa region on October 17 following the now familiar route along the western shoreline of the Black Sea moving from Ukraine into Romanian waters as they sailed toward Turkey. The pattern also remains consistent with a mix of smaller vessels coming from flags including Palau and Vanuatu as well as an increasing number of larger vessels from flags including Liberia and Panama.

The largest of the vessels departing today is the Bull, an 82,000 dwt bulker that came from India and is now sailing to Istanbul after departing Odesa. The vessel’s management is Blumenthal Asia based in Singapore. The company has been sending vessels to Ukraine since September as part of the efforts to restore the country’s exports. The other two vessels departing from the Odesa region today were smaller general cargo ships. They are the Ramus (6,063 dwt) registered in Palau and managed from Poland and the Bahar K (8,284 dwt) registered in Vanuatu and managed from Turkey.

All the vessels also appear to be taking a more discreet approach to their operations. While all three ships are transmitting the AIS signal as they are legally required, none of them reflected ports in Ukraine as either their destinations or points of departure.

With today’s three departures, sources in Ukraine are saying that 24 ships had sailed from Ukraine’s ports of Odesa, Choronomorsk, and Pivdennyi (Yuzhnyi). Only two of the vessels made the transit in August with the pace of travel having increased in the past few weeks.

When the route was initially announced at the beginning of August, they said one of the key purposes would be to help vessels stuck in Ukraine’s ports since the start of the war. Figures show that only five large cargo vessels however have taken advantage of the opportunity with others remaining in Ukraine. 

Two other vessels were inbound today. The Turkish-managed bulker Majesty, registered in Panama, arrived off Odesa late today. She is 46,667 dwt, while the smaller Briza (6,900) dwt, registered in Palau, was also inbound. Ukrainian officials did not name a third vessel, but the Eleen Neptune, registered in Liberia (56,657 dwt) is currently in the anchorage off Sulina in Romania. Her AIS signal shows she is heading to Choronomorsk.

The reports are saying a total of 33 vessels, including the Briza, have now used the route to access Ukraine’s ports. This likely includes vessels also going to Izmail on the Danube. The officials are noting with the support of the international organizations, including making insurance possible, the traffic continues to flow and they expect more ships will be coming to Ukraine helping to maintain the vital exports of grains.