Georgian Ports See Significant Decrease in Cargo Turnover Compared to 2017


This article was originally published online on December 6 and in print on December 7. This version has been corrrected to reflect errors in figures included in the original article.

Georgia’s major Black Sea ports and terminals have seen a serious downturn in volume  within January- October 2018 as compared to  2017. The 1.07 million ton difference is a combination of decreases at all  sea ports and terminals  – Batumi, Poti, Kulevi, and Supsa. In total, volume is 8.0% lower in January – October 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, says the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

In the January – October 2018 period, 12.42 million tons of cargo passed through Georgian sea ports and terminals. Poti saw the most significant decrease – a 0.41 million ton decrease to 5.14 million tons – a nearly 7.4% loss. Batumi’s cargo volume decrease just 0.40 million tons to 3.11 million-  a nearly 11.3% loss. Kulevi, Georgia’s current northmost sea terminal, saw a 0.22 million ton decrease to 1.15 million tons, and Supsa handled 3.01 million tons, with a decrease of only 0.05 million tons.

Interestingly, the decrease in weight was not due to an overall decrease in individual containers. Batumi and Poti ports combined increased their number of containers by nearly 15.7 % to 370,128 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers.

The total turnover from January – October in Georgia, including all modes of transport (excluding sea ports and terminals), was 33.2 million tons, a 0.24 million ton decrease year-on-year (0.7% decrease).  In January- October, the largest volume of cargo was transported through Georgia overland by truck, amounting to 24.84 million tons, a 0.27 million ton increase year-on-year (1.1% increase). Railway cargo transport decreased by 0.50 million tons to 8.32 million tons (5.7% decrease). Air transport also saw a decrease, 24.8% to 21.42 thousand tons.

Decreases in cargo transport were somewhat offset by an 9.55 million person increase in passenger transit compared to 2017 amounting to 334.0 million passengers  in January – October  2018. 327.2 million passengers were transported by roads during the first 10 months of the year, 2.4 million by rail and 4.4million by air. 

In June, Georgian cargo airline GEO SKY, was granted European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) authorization for meeting international operational and safety standards, becoming the third Georgian cargo airlines to be authorized to fully operate in the EU after Georgian Airways and TCA. The authorization was expected to lead to an increase in the company’s operations between Georgia and Europe.



By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Project Cargo Weekly

11 December 2018 17:15