Fesco, Russia’s largest ocean container carrier, is strengthening its India-Russia connectivity as trade volumes rise. The company has increased capacity by 25% on the West India-Novorossiysk route, deploying a larger vessel. The enhanced service, FIL-W (Fesco Indian Line West), began with the 1,080-TEU Fesco Askold departing Nhava Sheva on June 18 for Mundra. The 1,049-TEU Fesco Ekaterina operates on a Novorossiysk-Nhava Sheva-Mundra rotation, offering a fortnightly frequency with a 16-day transit time.

To maximize capacity, Fesco uses Mundra as a hub to consolidate cargo from regional ports such as Kolkata, Tuticorin, and Chennai, as well as international locations including Jebel Ali (UAE), Chattogram (Bangladesh), Karachi (Pakistan), and Colombo (Sri Lanka). This expansion is driven by a 33% increase in two-way trade between India and Russia, which reached approximately $66 billion in the fiscal year 2023-24.

Niche Indian non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOs), such as Mumbai-based Econship, have also deployed tonnage to support the growing India-Russia trade.

Chabahar Port in Iran is emerging as a critical hub for India’s trade with Central Asia. New Delhi recently signed a long-term deal to modernize and operate container berths at Chabahar, enhancing its strategic importance. The port is key to India’s integration with the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for continued trade with Russia. India has committed $120 million for Chabahar’s modernization and a $250 million credit line for related infrastructure.

Source: The Loadstar