Samskip acquires Sea Connect, specialist in Shortsea, to expand its Baltic network
The European transport group Samskip will expand its activities in the Baltic with the acquisition of the shortsea specialist Sea Connect. The decision to expand its service to Eastern Europe is seen as an effort to seize transshipment opportunities in the Baltic and developing markets in Russia.
The Lithuania-based shipping company, which will be renamed Samskip Sea Connect, operates three 1A Ice Class container ships offering shortsea services connecting Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The ships are modern 700 TEU container ships, each equipped with 150 to 200 refrigerated outlets. Sea Connect calls twice a week to Saint Petersburg and Rotterdam, as well as once a week to Hamburg and Aarhus in Denmark.
“This acquisition strengthens our position in Russia, the Netherlands and a range of key Baltic ports in between,” said Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, CEO of Samskip. “It enhances services for Samskip’s shortsea customers by focusing on growth opportunities in Russia and adds opportunities for importers and exporters in the region to secure profitable and sustainable multimodal connections further afield. “
Experts predicted strong growth in collection networks in the coming years, with major carriers focusing on larger ships serving hub destinations. Samskip, which maintains an extensive network serving primarily Europe, Scandinavia and Iceland, is working to further expand its operations in the Baltic Sea. The acquisition of Nor Lines by Samskip in 2017 from the DSD Group, included terminals, warehousing and transport in Norway. The company also took on five time charter vessels as part of the transaction. This year, Samskip also launched a new operation in Finland.
Laaksonen anticipates particular growth in unit volumes connecting Russia and the Baltic States via Rotterdam by rail, barges, ships throughout Europe, as well as an increased deployment of Samskip’s refrigerated freight services in Saint Petersburg. “Russian exporters and importers are likely to be attracted by new opportunities to enter western and southern markets using Samskip’s network (shortsea, rail, inland barges and road services),” he added. Sea Connect’s feeder links with offshore carriers will also continue, he noted.
Samskip currently operates 15 container ships as well as five reefer vessels. The company transports 850,000 TEUs per year via its intermodal network.