Tag Archives: logistics

Renovations begin under the Poti port’s new owner

courtesy of wikicommons

In this month’s issue of Investor.ge I reported on a couple of bits of news — first, the transfer in owner ship of Georgia’s main cargo port, Poti.

Flipping the Poti port has been one of the government’s major development goals, and is a key to increasing Georgia’s potential as a logistics and transit hub for East-West goods trade. APM Terminals, a subsidiary of the Maersk Group bought the port earlier this year and it says it has already begun to assess its renovation plans aimed at increasing its safety, efficiency and cargo capacity.

All good news, but they have a long way go to. Read more below.

Since acquiring an 80 percent share of the Poti port earlier this year, APM Terminals now plans to invest $100 million on upgrading the port facilities, and is eyeing additional investment projects in the region, company officials said.

APM Terminals, part of the Moller-Maersk Group, announced that it had acquired an 80 percent share of the Poti Sea Port in April, and officially took over from UAE-based RAKIA, in May.

APM Terminals’ Senior Vice President and Head of New Terminals, Peder Sondergaard, said APM intends to “add value” to the port, meeting the demand for a “high-quality port infrastructure in the Black Sea.” In the same press release, he also said APM would be investing $100 million in the port facilities over the next five years.

RAKIA continues to operate the Poti Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which occupies about 100 hectares adjacent to the port. RAKIA, which bought the zone in 2008, hopes to develop it into a major logistics and industrial center, pledging a $200 million investment.

APM Terminals’ Vice President for Business Development, Hans-Ole Madsen said in an interview with Investor.ge that the first stage of APM’s development plan has already begun, with engineers surveying the port’s existing equipment and determining which terminal cranes will be updated and which will be scrapped.

To continue reading, click here.

The Best and Worst of the Caucasus 2010

The brand new Peace Bridge in Tbilisi. Guess which category this falls under?

After having lots of ideas bouncing my head during my long holiday back in the United States, I finally developed a list of what I thought were the Best and the Worst developments of the Caucasus in 2010 for The Faster Times and finally jotted it all down during a long layover in Washington Dulles airport. Feel free to agree, disagree and lambast me in the comments below.

Like any good journalist  knows, as the new year approaches, tradition dictates a warm look back at the year gone by and remember the good times and the bad that defined this notch on history’s timeline. This is done principally for two reasons: 1.) it’s an opportunity for journalists to take up the mantle of chroniclers of our times and 2.) it’s an easy way to fill space as we all take time off for the holidays.

And so, without further ado, I present the Best and Worst of the Caucasus 2010:

Best step towards peace and stabilityGeorgia’s unilateral non-use of force pledge towards Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Russia. It is unfortunate that the Georgian leadership waited so long to make such a pledge. Critics will say this plays into Russia’s hands, but it’s not like the policy of isolation and occasional attempts at seizure by force have brought Tbilisi any closer to resolution of its internal conflicts over the past 17 years. This agreement, accepted in principle by both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, puts the ball in their court and can begin the long journey of unwinding the deep mistrust between ordinary citizens on both sides.

Worst step towards peace and stabilityBorder skirmishes and blustery statementsbetween Azerbaijan and Armenia undermined peace in Nagorno-Karabakh throughout the summer. Despite peace summits in St. Petersburg, Russia and Almaty, Kazakhstan, bullets continued to fly along the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces around the de facto border of Nagorno-Karabakh. Just 24 hours after the Russia-hosted summit, Azerbaijan mounted an incursion into Armenian-held territory that left five soldiers dead and that the OSCE deemed “an attempt to damage the peace process.”

To continue reading, click here.

Georgia hearts logistics

New roads and rail means faster cargo. Image courtesy of Investor.ge

Okay, so logistics isn’t exactly the sexiest industry to talk about. Georgian officials and local market-watchers like to talk about tourism, wine and Caucasus gold, because, well, they’re a lot more exciting.

But, one of the major areas of development in the Georgian economy is logistics services, and if the region can continue to move in the right direction, this could become one of the most profitable — and exciting — sectors of the economy.

For more, I took a look at all of this in a piece for the December-January issue of Investor.ge.

Georgian Finance Minister Kakha Baindurashvili signed a new customs and trade agreement with Turkey in October, in a sign of growing ties between the two countries and progress in developing Georgia as a transit and logistics hub.

The new agreement should streamline the customs procedures at the nations’ borders, consolidating it to a single-form process, with customs declarations only needing to be made at the country of exit. Baindurashvili said that the new process, which is similar to the arrangement on the French-Swiss border, should halve the crossing time and could boost transit by as much as 60 percent.

Mean and lean transit

Baindurashvili said the government is looking to emulate countries such as Denmark, whose small size and key location have allowed it to make logistical services one of the most developed sectors of its economy. The agreement with Turkey also finalizes the opening of a third border crossing at the town of Kartsakhi, which, unlike the border post near Akhaltsikhe, could be open year-round and would connect to the Kars highway allowing for more direct trade with Syria and Iraq.

Negotiations over this agreement began in 2008, and are a part Georgia’s efforts to develop logistics services in the country and establish Georgia as a hub in the region – efforts that include the development of the Poti free trade zone, tax incentives for warehousing construction and the renovation of Georgia’s road, rail and air transit infrastructure.

To continue reading, click here.