Key developments and achievements in 2020

Despite the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging economic environment, FESCO:

Set a historical record in container handling at VMTP (672,442 TEU, up 8% YoY) and captured a record market share of 45% in terms of containers handled in the Far East Basin (up 1 pp YoY). In 2020, VMTP became the No. 1 Russian sea port in terms of container handling;

Ramped up intermodal transportation to 393 thousand TEU (up 14% YoY);

Reached a new all-time high in domestic maritime transportation: over 80 thousand TEU (up 3% YoY);

Ramped up international shipping to 293 thousand TEU (up 17% YoY);

Made the quickest shipment from Japan to Europe ( 17 days) with support from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) and Russian Railways;

Launched nine new railway services;

Ensured business continuity across the board and managed to maintain employee salaries at pre-pandemic levels;

Reduced its net debt / EBITDA ratio to 2.8x (excluding the IFRS 16 impact);

Had its Fitch credit rating upgraded by four notches from “RD” to “CCC”.

Corporate events

In the second half of 2020, TPG Capital and GHP Group divested from FESCO. As at the end of 2020, FESCO's key indirect shareholders were Andrey Severilov (23.8%), Mikhail Rabinovich (17.4%) and Ziyavudin Magomedov (32.5%).

In September 2020, Arkady Korostelev was appointed President of FESCO.

In November, the General Shareholders Meeting elected a new Board of Directors. Andrey Severilov became the Chairman.

Special projects

FESCO's customised solutions helped deliver bulky pieces of equipment: from Georgia to Armenia for the Yerevan Thermal Power Plant; from Novorossiysk to Bangladesh for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant; from the Rostov Region to Turkey for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant; for the Kupol and Dvoinoye gold mines in Chukotka; and the shipment of four Liebherr cranes from Petrolesport’s St Petersburg terminal to the Vrangel terminal of Vostochnaya Stevedoring Company in the Primorye Territory.

FESCO provided comprehensive agent services for the vessel transporting the Odyssey launch platform of the Sea Launch spaceport to the port of Slavyanka in the Primorye Territory.

FESCO and Norilsk Nickel Group entered into a contract for intermodal container transportation from the Murmansk Region to Europe, Asia and America. Effective through September 2021, the contract provides for the transportation of over 4 thousand TEU.

FESCO continued its involvement in a joint project to deliver goods to Indian and Belgian research stations in Antarctica.

As part of the INTERTRAN project, FESCO, Russian Railways and Belarusian Railway for the first time arranged all-digital coordination of an intermodal container shipment sent from China and passing through a third territory before reaching its final destination in Europe.

FESCO was the general sponsor of the XII international conference HEAVY RUSSIA 2020.

New routes and services

FESCO introduced new container trains for deliveries across Russia – from St Petersburg to Khabarovsk, from Yekaterinburg to Khabarovsk, from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok, from Novosibirsk to Khabarovsk, from Moscow to Irkutsk, from Moscow to Blagoveshchensk, from Naushki to Yekaterinburg, from Vladivostok to Tolyatti and from Vladivostok to Brest.

In line with its strategy of expanding its land network, FESCO launched an intermodal container service to deliver fish and seafood from Russia’s Far East to China’s Jilin Province on a regular basis; a container train for expedited delivery of cars from China to Belgium, Belarus and Poland; and a container train from China to Moscow (the Bely Rast Terminal and Logistics Centre).

FESCO launched FESCO Arctic Line, a new maritime container service connecting the ports of Provideniya and Pevek in Chukotka with China and the USA.

FESCO rolled out a new seasonal intermodal container service from Novosibirsk to communities in Yakutia, delivering around 300 TEU of various cargos.

FESCO and DB Сargo AG, Europe’s leading rail freight operator, launched the first container train from Europe (Duisburg) to China (Shanghai) via Brest and Vladivostok. The service helped significantly reduce lead times for shipments from Asia to Europe over the Trans-Siberian Railway compared to traditional sea routes.

FESCO and Russian Railways dispatched the first full-length container train from Japan to Europe (Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands). Running on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the service is part of Trans-Siberian Landbridge, a project implemented jointly with RZD Logistics.

FESCO teamed up with Rail Cargo Logistics – RUS to organise the first transportation of canola oil in containers with flexitanks from the Krasnoyarsk Territory to the port of Nantong in China.

FESCO arranged for the first shipment of refrigerated containers with perishable goods from Russia to Mongolia from the Naushki border crossing and completed its first intermodal shipment of containers with barley from Omsk to China.

Existing services development

FESCO added Wenzhou (Zhejiang Province, China) as a new port of call to expand the FESCO China Express-2 Eastern Arrow container shipping line.

FESCO and RZD Logistics expanded the range of cargoes shipped from Asia Pacific to Europe as part of Trans-Siberian Landbridge service, adding dangerous goods.

Asset upgrade and optimisation

FESCO completed its programme to dispose of non-core assets, having sold the grain and box car segments.

FESCO expanded its fleet of fitting platforms (a core asset) by 13% YoY to 7,130 units.

FESCO acquired 25% plus one share in Russkaya Troyka from Russian Railways, becoming the company’s sole shareholder.

FESCO acquired two new multi-purpose vessels, FESCO Ulysses and FESCO Paris, which allowed it to tap into the Northern Sea Route.

FESCO implemented a programme to upgrade VMTP capacities, remodelling over one third of the port’s area and renewing all equipment categories from reachstackers to cranes. This enabled quicker cargo handling and improved the port’s throughput capacity for all cargo types.

FESCO continued to renew its container fleet, buying a hundred 40 ft higher-capacity refrigerated containers.

Social projects

Together with Rusfond, FESCO launched a programme to support severely ill children in the Primorye Territory.

FESCO became an official transportation partner of the Arifmetika Dobra Foundation.

FESCO launched the Sea of Opportunities, a contest of projects to address pressing social problems in the Primorye Territory.

Events after the reporting date

In April 2021, FESCO signed a RUB 25.8 bn loan agreement with VTB Bank to refinance its current liabilities. The borrowed funds were used to repay the bulk of FESCO’s financial debt to VTB Bank. As a result, FESCO managed to improve its debt servicing terms, with a lowered interest rate, a change in the currency mix allowing for natural FX risk hedging, an extension of the principal repayment deadline until November 2027 inclusive, and a reduction in quarterly payments.

In May 2021, Fitch Ratings upgraded FESCO’s long-term credit rating from CCC to B+ with a stable outlook.